Dem governor hopefuls will debate as Ohio voting begins

Associated Press


Ohio’s governor races have been heating up as early voting begins and the candidates begin the stretch drive to the May 8 primary.

Voter registration for the primary ends today, and voting opens Tuesday to choose the Democratic and Republican nominees for the Nov. 6 general election to succeed second-term Republican Gov. John Kasich, along with other state and local nominees. Republicans have dominated the swing state in recent years, with Donald Trump handily carrying Ohio in 2016.

In the GOP governor race, underdog Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor’s campaign has dubbed Attorney General Mike DeWine “D.C. DeWine,” while the veteran officeholder’s campaign has countered by calling her unqualified to be governor. DeWine and Taylor have done much of their battling over the airwaves with bruising ads. DeWine has declined to meet in an official statewide debate, but they’ve had joint appearances.

Meanwhile, the four major Democratic candidates debate Tuesday in southwest Ohio. It’s their side’s fifth debate, but the cast has been evolving since they began last September.

Former federal consumer protection chief Richard Cordray joined the race, as did former congressman Dennis Kucinich and former Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill. State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-33rd, of Boardman, has remained in, while former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton dropped out to become Cordray’s running mate. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and former state legislator Connie Pillich both withdrew and endorsed Cordray.

Miami University political scientist John Forren will be one of the panelists at Tuesday’s debate on Miami’s regional campus in Middletown. Candidates also will answer audience questions in what at this point is the last scheduled official Democratic debate.

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