CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – A lot was on the agenda tonight at the Mahoning County GOP Christmas Party.
There were ugly sweaters, Christmas cookies and former senior adviser to the President Kellyanne Conway as the guest speaker. With that came an announcement of a new face running for Mahoning County commissioner.
Leading with a nod to the nation, Senator Michael Rulli then took the stage to announce Geno DeFabio will run for county commissioner.
DeFabio, known for having gotten on stage with Former President Donald Trump, says that was one thing that pushed him to run for office.
“Democrats forgot how to represent the Democratic party, it’s flipped and Republicans are for the working man and I’m working man I wanna [get] to county government and represent the people,” DeFabio said.
Conway, who’s been to the Valley several times, met with people before speaking, taking pictures with some.
“Tonight I’m going to thank the people here for being involved, for loving the state Ohio and the country so much that they take a stand. [They] stand up, speak up and that they show up because voting is the equalizer in this country,” Conway said.
She spoke accolades of former President Trump, saying she sees concern from the people about the state of the country.
“It’s remarkable to see once again people so energized, and some very worried, about the direction of the nation and the polls show that, too,” she said.
“We’ve been trying to bring in big speakers over the last couple of years, whether it be Mike Huckabee, Candace Owens, Trey Gowdy, when we had the chance to,” said Tom McCabe, chair of the organization. “Kellyanne Conway, we thought would be great at the Christmas party, her talking about her time in the White House.”
This wasn’t the first Republican Party fundraising event at Waypoint 4180, and, once again, Thursday’s event was sold out.
“We’re seeing a change in Mahoning County from a dark blue county for more than nine years, to more of a purple county where both parties can compete at the local level,” McCabe said.
Also in attendance was Jim Renacci, who is running for Ohio governor and just recently announced his running mate, Joe Knopp, who he calls an outsider to politics.
“They’re tired of these career politicians taking us down this direction,” Renacci said. “We’ve been talking to people across the state; people want an outsider.”
First News reached out to Carol Rimedio-Righetti, the current Mahoning County commissioner, about Defabio’s announcement that he will be running against her. We are still waiting to get ahold of her.