Jerry Barilla Will Take Over as Mayor in Steubenville
STEUBENVILLE — Jerry Barilla used a nearly 50-year business career to build a relationship with Steubenville residents that propelled him to victory in a four-man race for mayor.
According to unofficial results from the Jefferson County board of elections, Barilla, the Republican candidate, received 2,591 votes, with Democratic candidate Frankie DiCarlantonio garnering 1,092 votes.
Independent candidate Royal Mayo had 425 votes, while there were seven write-in votes for Michael Walenciej.
Barilla will succeed Mayor Domenick Mucci, who decided not to seek re-election after 24 years in office.
DiCarlantonio addressed his supporters at a gathering at Scaffidi’s Restaurant shortly after 9:30 p.m. Tuesday and conceded the election. He had run an aggressive campaign during the past several weeks with help from the Ohio Democratic party that included mailings and phone calls from DiCarlantonio and as late as Tuesday a recorded message from U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown encouraging a vote for DiCarlantonio.
Barilla’s campaign manager, Alex McKenna, declared victory shortly before 10 p.m. at a Barilla party at Froehlich’s Classic Corner Restaurant.
“This is a very humble and emotional moment for me to become mayor of a city where I grew up and have lived in all my life. I think back to my grandparents, who came here from Italy, and my father, who started our furniture and appliance business so many years ago. It is hard to express my feelings in words,” Barilla said.
Barilla said he is proud to call Steubenville his home.
“We have our challenges just like every other community. That is what life is about. But I am prepared to take on those challenges,” he said. “My next step is to set up a data base of people who are responsible and interested in the future of our city to fill future vacancies on the city boards and commissions. We need responsible and dedicated people for those positions.”
Barilla said he will be submitting his resignation to the Civil Service Commission and the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County Board of Trustees. But he will remain on the Historic Fort Steuben board because the fort does not receive any money from the city, he said.
“I want to start working on a relationship with the Jefferson County Port Authority, the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and the Jefferson County commissioners. I also want to start meeting with mayors of our surrounding communities to share ideas and discuss mutual issues. It is very important to communicate with our neighbors around us,” Barilla said. “I have also told Mayor Mucci I will need his help during the transition period and in the future. I am counting on him and believe we need to make sure Domenick stays a part of the process.”
During a mayoral candidate debate last week at Catholic Central High School, Barilla suggested Mucci would make an ideal grant writer for the city because of his experience and contacts.
Barilla has never held elected office before but has regularly attended city council meetings since he announced his plans to run for mayor earlier this year.
Also in Steubenville, incumbent 6th Ward Councilman Bob Villamagna will return for a second term after defeating challenger Sam Ivkovich Tuesday.
Villamagna received 650 votes, while Ivkovich received 497 votes, according to unofficial results.
But Villamagna had mixed emotions on the night that saw his friend and council colleague, 2nd Ward Councilman Mike Johnson, lose his seat, as Johnson was unseated by Craig Petrella in a close race, 327 votes to 319.