Home Politics Elections Election 2018 Five big takeaways from Ohio’s second gubernatorial debate

Five big takeaways from Ohio’s second gubernatorial debate

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Richard Cordray and Mike DeWine. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Richard Cordray and Mike DeWine met for their second of three gubernatorial debates heading into this election season.

Gubernatorial candidates Richard Cordray (D) and Mike DeWine (R) faced off in the second of three debates on Monday at Marietta College. Here’s where the candidates stand on five important issues:

1. Guns

After a question about how each would ensure school safety, DeWine emphasized three ways to help prevent gun violence.

DeWine said that he wants to give every student access to a mental health professional, require schools to keep track of potentially dangerous social media posts, and provide every school with a school resource officer.

Cordray criticized DeWine for never once mentioning guns in his 90-second response to the question. Cordray advocated for a ban on assault weapons and bump stocks. He clarified that he respects the Second Amendment, but wants to move forward on “common sense” gun control.

2. Healthcare

In his opening statement, Cordray said that he wanted to focus the debate on healthcare, and he criticized DeWine for attempting to roll back Ohio’s Medicaid expansion.

Cordray said he would help the elderly by maintaining Medicaid expansion, negotiating more aggressively with insurance and drug companies, and getting rid of middlemen who increase prices.

DeWine said that, while he opposes the Affordable Care Act, he wants to maintain protections for people with pre-existing conditions. He insisted that he wants to keep Medicaid expansion but add a work requirement for eligibility.

One question asked how each candidate would help transport rural residents to specialized doctors in the cities to treat rare ailments. DeWine said that he would cooperate with local governments to find a solution.

“I’m a local government guy,” DeWine said. “The answers don’t lie in Columbus.”

Cordray said he would address the problem by investing in infrastructure and creating public transit systems in the 27 Ohio counties without them.

DeWine criticized Cordray for his support for Issue One, saying that some Democrats don’t even support the issue. He said that Issue One would allow fentanyl to pour into the state. Cordray attacked DeWine for his ineffective response to the opioid crisis as attorney general.

3. Education

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), a now-defunct online alternative to high school, came up frequently. According to Cordray, DeWine accepted tens of thousands of dollars from ECOT during past campaigns, and DeWine didn’t attempt to sue ECOT until it had already allegedly received $80 million more in tax dollars than it should have.

DeWine criticized Cordray, saying that Cordray also received money from ECOT. Cordray said he only received $600 and contrasted that with the tens of thousands that ECOT was giving to Republican candidates.

DeWine said he wants every public college in Ohio to have a contract with its students to not increase their individual cost of tuition through their first four years.

Cordray said the system funding public schools is unconstitutional and he wants to change it. He further said he wants to take the shackles off of teachers and reduce state regulatory funding.

4. Environment

In addition to helping small businesses, Cordray said that he would like to promote green jobs. Furthermore, he said he’d like to use Ohio’s natural gas resources to promote new jobs as a part of his “all-of-the-above” energy strategy.

DeWine said that he wants to be mindful of the environment while keeping Ohio a business-friendly state. He said protecting Lake Erie is important and during his tenure as attorney general, he sued DuPont, a chemical production company, for dumping unsafe chemicals into the Ohio River.

Cordray said the Ohio Environmental Council endorsed him, and that he’s the best candidate for protecting the climate.

“Clean water and clean air should be a basic in the state of Ohio,” he said.

5. Jobs

DeWine said he wants to continue Gov. John Kasich’s JobsOhio program, which he characterized as a success. He said that he wants to use Ohio’s resources to give the state the cheapest natural gas in the world.

Cordray said he wants to invest in small businesses, and added that he helped 881 small businesses in Ohio during his time as attorney general. He said that he wanted to return money from Columbus back to small towns throughout the state.

Both DeWine and Cordray said that they would veto a right-to-work bill, which is a bill that would stop mandatory union memberships if the state legislature passed one. Cordray tried to differentiate himself, however, saying that DeWine would have a statewide referendum on whether to turn Ohio into a right-to-work state or not. He said that he wouldn’t allow a referendum on it.

The third and final gubernatorial debate will be held on Oct. 8 at Cleveland State University.

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