Cordray announces Sutton as his running mate


By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Richard Cordray, considered the leading Democrat for governor, strengthened his grip on the party’s nomination with the announcement that ex-U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton has quit the gubernatorial race to be his lieutenant governor running mate.

Cordray, a former state attorney general and treasurer, and Sutton made the announcement official Wednesday at an Akron restaurant. The two were President Barack Obama appointees with Cordray heading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, from where he resigned in November, and Sutton served as administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.

Cordray said, “I’m honored to join forces with Betty to wage this campaign, both because of the vision we share to make Ohio fairer, and because of her track record of delivering results for Ohioans and their families. As a lawyer fighting for fair treatment and wages for workers, and as a public servant who has worked at the local, state and federal level, Betty’s career has been focused on the ‘kitchen table’ issues that are at the core of my campaign. Just as importantly, Betty knows how to take on the tough political fights and win, and will be a formidable partner in the coming months.”

The Cordray-Sutton ticket still faces several challengers in the Democratic primary. Among those in the primary include state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, ex-state Rep. Connie Pillich, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill. Also, ex-U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich is expected to get into the race next week.

The move by Cordray and Sutton to create a ticket of leading Democrats is similar what Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted did in November. The two were considered the top Republican candidates for governor when Husted agreed to get out of the race and be DeWine’s lieutenant governor running mate.

Responding to Wednesday’s announcement, Schiavoni and his running mate, Stephanie Dodd, said: “The Cordray-Sutton combination makes sense, just like DeWine-Husted did. They’re all following the same political playbook. But this year, voters are looking for something different.”

They added: “Democrats need a team that can excite young people, appeal to voters lost in 2016, and unite our party and our state moving forward. Ohio’s future requires a new generation of leadership.”

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, said Wednesday that businessman Nathan Estruth, a former executive with Procter & Gamble, is her running mate.

“Nathan is a political outsider who shares my conservative values, cares about helping create new jobs for Ohio, and is unafraid of challenging the status quo,” Taylor said. “Nathan has over 26 years of experience creating jobs. He is a problem solver, and that is exactly what we need in Columbus. Our ticket is a clear contrast to the establishment career politician marriage between Mike DeWine and Jon Husted.”

In addition to DeWine and Taylor, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci is running for governor. He announced last month that Cincinnati City Councilwoman Amy Murray would be his running mate.

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