Hanni: Red wave paved way to election win | News, Sports, Jobs

YOUNGSTOWN — Attorney Mark Hanni is now an elected judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, defeating incumbent Democrat Gene Donofrio by nearly 30,000 votes in the district serving Mahoning, Columbiana, Belmont, Carroll, Harrison, Jefferson, Monroe and Noble counties.

“My pivotal victory can be credited to the Ohio red wave led by Gov. Mike DeWine.” said Hanni, noting the Republican governor’s move to a second term.

Hanni, the Republican, unofficially drew more than 102,000 votes across the district, beating Donofrio, who received more than 73,000.

The judge-elect said the Ohio law change that required naming a party for Supreme Court and Circuit Court nominees helped statewide voters make an informed decision.

“Party affiliation informs the public of which platform and ideals are supported. Therefore, voters can be educated and support the candidate they believe fits their way of thinking, their views and their values.” said Hanni.

Hanni said it was evident that voters in the Seventh Circuit “support family values, fund the police force and the Second Amendment.

“I pledge to serve 7th Circuit voters with judicial integrity and to administer justice justly and fairly. And I will never legislate from the bank.” said Hanni.

Hanni also owes his successful run to Columbiana County Republican Chairman Dave Johnson.

“It was Chairman Johnson who suggested I run and supported me every step of the way, opening doors with other Republican leaders throughout the seventh district as well as with state officials.” said Hanni.

Hanni noted that his father Don Jr., longtime leader of Mahoning County Democrats, sat on the Youngstown Municipal Court bench almost 60 years ago and was defeated for his seat by Donofrio’s father Joseph.

Mark Hanni, who changed his party affiliation to Republican years ago, noted that it was a small revenge on the families, saying: “I’m sure I inherited my father’s coattails. I show a little respect.”

Meanwhile, Donofrio thanked his supporters via social media post on Wednesday.

“Although we didn’t win yesterday, I would like to sincerely thank all my family and friends for all their help and support in this and previous campaigns.” Donofrio posted. “God has truly blessed me with an amazing family and friends and the good fortune to have served in a position I love for the last 30 years. It was a real privilege and honor to have served the citizens of the 7th Ward.”

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