Mayor Brown Wins Reelection With 60% of Youngstown Vote

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Mayor Jamael Tito Brown cruised to re-election Tuesday, winning 60.21% of the ballots cast in the general election. 

Brown defeated two other candidates who appeared on the ballot and five write-in candidates to secure a second term. He thanked city residents for what he described as their “overwhelming support” for him.

The mayor received 4,680 votes to 1,332 votes for Republican Tracey Winbush, and 830 for Richard Vincent Hill, who ran as an independent. Amber White, who ran after her husband, John, was disqualified as a candidate, led a field of five write-in candidates, garnering 881 votes. 

“Every day I continue, as I go to City Hall, to make the citizens of Youngstown my number one priority, and over the last four years I continued to talk about it,” Brown said during a victory party at the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown. “People can see that. They hear it in my conversations, they hear it. They see what we’re trying to do to move Youngstown forward.”

Winbush, a local business owner and talk-show host, lamented the poor turnout, including among Republicans, given the GOP’s success in Mahoning County in recent years. 

“The apathy of the city in the turnout is very troubling,” she remarked. 

“I expected the Republicans to show up and they did not show up. Because if the Republicans showed up in Youngstown that showed up in 2020, I would have been victorious,” she said. “So the Republicans didn’t show up and the Democrats didn’t either.”

Brown held a commanding lead from the release of the absentee results shortly after polls closed in Ohio at 7:30 p.m. He received 2,099 of the early votes, or 66.42% of the early ballots. 

Final results for the city were not released until after 9 p.m., a reporting delay that Tom McCabe, deputy director of the Mahoning County Board of Elections, attributed to the number of write-in ballots cast in the mayor’s race. 

Brown said his priority for the next four years is to improve safety in Youngstown, which has been plagued with a series of homicides and shootings this year. He said he will continue to guide the city out of the COVID-19 pandemic, improve quality of life and address conditions in the city’s neighborhoods.

City officials also are reviewing data collected from proposals submitted by residents and stakeholders over the past few months regarding how the city will spend its $82.7 million American Rescue Plan allocation, he said. 

“We’re taking that data, we’re going to share that data with the community [and] give them the points that we came out with from the listening tours, and then we want to implement that,” he continued. “We’re going to get ready for the ARP funds to start getting out in our community to all those areas where we know they’re going to have the greatest impact.”   

Mayor Brown meets with Tom Hetrick.

Tom Hetrick, who won election Tuesday night as City Council president, said he wanted to have a productive relationship with Brown.

“I feel like a very weighty responsibility has been entrusted to me, and I want to represent the citizens of Youngstown well,” he said. “I want to focus on improving our neighborhoods and I think Mayor Brown does as well. So I look forward to working with him.”

Winbush said that she hoped citizens would hold the city’s leadership accountable moving forward and that Brown would begin to lead the city, “putting the people first because it was their choice.”

Ohio Democratic party Chairwoman Liz Walters congratulated Brown on his win i. 

“The Mahoning Valley is continuing to build back better thanks to Tito Brown’s leadership, and hard-working Ohioans can expect more of the same in Mayor Brown’s next term,” Walters said in a statement. 

“Youngstown is well on the road to economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the future continues to look bright as the city builds on the growth of 21st-century jobs in advanced manufacturing and renewable energy that Mayor Brown helped create,” she continued. “We look forward to even more results for working families in Youngstown and around Ohio under his continued leadership.” 

Pictured at top: Mayor Jamael Tito Brown meets with supporters Gladys Bowers-Swanson and Thomas Swanson.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.