YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A new Mahoning County prosecutor has been chosen. 

The Mahoning County Democratic Central Committee members took a vote Saturday, choosing Gina DeGenova to take the position. 

One-hundred-nine ballots were cast and 70 of those votes went to DeGenova. 

“I am overwhelmed and humbled by the support that I have received here today by the central committee members and my family and friends,” DeGenova said.

DeGenova is the first female prosecutor to hold the position. She takes the place of former prosecutor Paul Gains, who retired in November. 

Gains served in the position for over 25 years, being elected in 1996. Prior to that, he served as a Youngstown police officer for 10 years. 

DeGenova was appointed as interim prosecutor until the vote was cast. She has spent the past two years under Gains as Chief Assistant Prosecutor.

“I could always count on [Gains] for giving me the freedom to express my opinion and grow as a lawyer and person,” DeGenova said of Gains, who attended the meeting and supported her from the sidelines.

“I’ve seen [DeGeonva] in and out of the courtroom for the last 17 years, I’ve seen her interact with the statutory clients that we deal with, and I think she’ll do an excellent job and be an excellent prosecutor,” Gains said.

DeGenova said her agenda for Monday includes appointing staff, meeting with the Youngstown Police Department and meeting with a rescue to bring a dog on staff to help abuse and assault victims. Most of all, she said she’s working to keep the community safe.

“I want to accomplish the ability to initiate programs that will help our residents, and if I could change just one life, that would be the goal enough for me,” DeGenova said.

Each candidate got a half hour to speak. Mahoning County Prosecutor nominee Brad Gessner — who grew up in Austintown — said he isn’t done.

“In addition to being transparent, you have to be open — I want to be your prosecutor,” Gessner said.

He plans on running for the nomination again in 2024.