WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mike O’Brien can fill a page with his political accomplishments. His fingerprints are all over Warren and Trumbull counties. But on January 1st, he will be out of an elected office for the first time in 38 years.
O’Brien sat in the dining room at Warren’s house, surrounded by photographs of his time in politics as Warren’s Fourth District Councilman after being fired as a police guard.
“I said I was going to run for city council because they fired me,” he said.
O’Brien reflected on his career, jumping from story to story, like when he dealt with a pet lion in his hospital ward as a young alderman.
“We just passed the first anti-lion bill in the municipality,” O’Brien said. “We restored the courthouse, built the county jail, remodeled the administration building, built the 11th District Court of Appeals, built the Agricultural Center and enacted 911. Trumbull County didn’t have a 911 at the time. , created a bike path.”
O’Brien went on to serve on the Warren City Council, Trumbull County Commissioner, Mayor of Warren, and Member of the Ohio House of Representatives.
As Commissioner of Trumbull County, O’Brien was instrumental in passing the county’s first sales tax. As mayor, he secured funds to build an amphitheater and started his weekly summer concerts featuring his band in tribute. Then as a state representative, the focus was technology.
“I was the primary sponsor of the statewide broadband bill. There are now 1 million people in Ohio. said.
For those considering entering politics, he advises:
“My suggestion is to join the community first before joining politics.”
O’Brien ran for election 30 times. The only time he lost was in the 30th election, when Denny Malloy was elected Commissioner of Trumbull County.
“I played Mike DeWine and I played JD Vance. I wasn’t playing Denny Malloy. The Democrats had low approval ratings,” O’Brien said.
Speaking about the overwhelming Republican majority in the Ohio legislature, O’Brien said more gun laws would be passed, along with rights to work and laws supporting charter schools.
“That’s why it’s important for Democrats to start building relationships with committee members from day one and get their bills fixed,” he said.
O’Brien hopes Trumbull County will move forward under the next commission.
“The only way we can do that is by working together. Working together to set aside personal differences, set aside political differences and work together.
As for his future, Mike O’Brien said he has received offers from several companies in the private sector, but is also seriously considering running for Warren City Council next year.