YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Youngstown residents elected Democrat candidate Jamael “Tito” Brown as the city’s next mayor.
According to unofficial results, Brown got 47 percent of the votes compared to his opponent, Independent Sean McKinney, who received 46 percent.
Brown said Tuesday night that while it’s been a long road, “Youngstown’s worth it.”
“I believe in Youngstown and tonight, Youngstown said they believe in me and I’m gonna work hard for them.”
He said he wants to unify the city and will reach out to his opponents and work with them.
“We can’t afford to be divided. I want to make sure that we move forward.”
In May, Brown ousted current Mayor John McNally as the Democratic candidate to appear on Tuesday’s ballot.
Brown, a former councilman and former member of the school board, said trust needs to be restored at city hall. Last February, McNally pleaded guilty to four misdemeanors involving the sale of Oakhill Renaissance Place.
During a candidates forum last month, Brown said he wants to focus on minimum wage jobs, safer neighborhoods, and investing in the lives of young people.
When asked how he would choose department heads for the city, Brown said if there are two equally qualified candidates — one living in the city and one living outside the city — the one living in the city would get the job.
In September, Brown said city leaders need to make sure they’re talking to Youngstown State graduates and encourage them to stay in the Valley.
Brown has questioned how the downtown amphitheater’s $9 to $10 million cost was being funded, saying he would like to see more private funding for it. He has said the project is too much too soon and too expensive.
Brown is a lifelong Youngstown resident and a product of the city schools, graduating from Rayen High School.
He had been working as chief deputy treasurer at the Mahoning County Treasurer’s Office.
Brown has worked as a caseworker for Mahoning County Children Services, community organizer at YSU, and human relations director for the City of Youngstown. He’s also served on the Youngstown City School Board, as Third Ward councilman, and as president of Youngstown City Council.