Political novice joins others vying to be Youngstown mayor

Local News

Ryan Kelly is running for mayor of Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ryan Kelly, with his wife Elizabeth, walked into the Mahoning County Board of Elections Wednesday and confidently submitted his petitions to run for Youngstown Mayor in the Democrat Primary.

“We need some new, good energy and new ideas,” Kelly said. “This is our future. This is our city’s future.”

Ryan Kelly is 31 years old. His father Pat was a long-time Youngstown policeman and is now police chief in Campbell. His brother Casey is a Youngstown policeman. But Ryan has never held a political office.

Ryan Kelly

“I believe in myself. I believe in my vision. I believe in the people around me will help me get there,” Kelly said.

And there’s one thing, specifically, that Kelly says must be done.

“We gotta keep people here. We have to keep people in the city,” he said.

To win, Ryan Kelly will have to beat incumbent Mayor Tito Brown, who filed yesterday.

“We’re right here in the middle of a pandemic, and that’s been my main focus with the vaccinations that are out,” Brown said.

Tito Brown

And First Ward Councilman Julius Oliver also filed Wednesday to run for mayor.

“I think it’s time for the city to have leadership that inspires you to get involved with the actual process of improving the city, improving your neighborhood, improving a street,” Oliver said.

Oliver is starting his sixth year on City Council, has won two elections and says his experience with city government is a qualification.

“It definitely puts me in a good position for me to make those decisions for the future but not to make them in a traditional way that we always have,” he said.

Julius Oliver

Ryan Kelly may lack political experience, but since he was 18, he’s been in a partnership that owns the Belleria Restaurants in Columbiana, Girard, and Warren.

“You don’t have the actual political experience people would say. I would say, for me, I know what it’s like to be CEO. It’s on you, good or bad, it’s on you,” Kelly said.

One of the area’s most prominent female Republicans, Tracey Winbush, has also filed to run against Democrat Tito Brown in the Youngstown mayor’s race this year.

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