Election 2018 State The biggest takeaways from Ohio’s third gubernatorial debate By Joe Weiner Posted on October 9, 2018 8 min read 1 4 193 Richard Cordray and Mike DeWine. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Richard Cordray and Mike DeWine met Monday in Cleveland for what is supposed to be their final debate before election day. Gubernatorial candidates Mike DeWine (R) and Richard Cordray (D) met for a third and potentially final debate Monday at Cleveland State University. These are the biggest takeaways from the debate. When asked what they will do to protect citizens with pre-existing conditions if Medicaid is repealed, DeWine referenced initiating a high-risk pool for those who need coverage. DeWine said that he and Cordray agree on expanding Medicaid. Corday urged listeners to disregard DeWine’s arguments based on his track record with Medicare. “On his first day in office, he filed a lawsuit to set it aside in its entirety,” Cordray said. “If he had it his way, 4.8 million Ohioans with pre-existing conditions would not have protection today.” Cordray said that DeWine took taxpayer money in an attempt to wipe out Medicare expansion and that DeWine received $2.4 million from drug and insurance companies. Cordray said his website would release a letter signed by DeWine’s on his first day in office, which shows him trying to set aside the Affordable Care Act. The candidates were asked about Ohio’s “rainy day fund,” and if they would use a portion of the fund’s $3 billion to help struggling municipalities within the state. Cordray said the fund is already at maximum and that he wants to invest it in early childhood development like universal, all-day preschool. Cordray described the need to invest in early childhood development — a consensus between the candidates. DeWine said that Cordray couldn’t complete his plans without raising taxes. DeWine focused his response on funding local governments to better combat problems like the opioid crisis. DeWine cited his time as a local prosecuting attorney for justification as to why he can efficiently cooperate with local governments. Each candidate was also asked about their stance on net neutrality and broadband access. Both candidates agreed that internet broadband access needed to be expanded across the state, with DeWine specifically referencing bringing fiber internet to the entire state. Cordray said he firmly stands with net neutrality and plans to mimic Montana Gov. Steve Bullock by requiring IT companies to observe the principles of net neutrality. DeWine didn’t state his position on net neutrality. Instead, he took his response time to address Cordray’s support of issue one in regards to fentanyl, which makes offenses related to drug possession and use no more than misdemeanors. DeWine said the law will attract drug dealers from neighboring states. Cordray said that fentanyl exploded in Ohio under DeWine’s watch. He said that fentanyl deaths went from 70 a year to 3,431 in 2017. “Drug dealers have had a playground in Ohio while you’ve been asleep at the switch,” Cordray said. “You’ve been the fentanyl failure for Ohio.” The next two questions dealt with citizen and police relations and the encouragement of companies to hire restored citizens. DeWine said that as governor, he will be a partner in encouraging people to hire convicted felons. He cautioned that the next governor will have to be careful not to pass legislation that will hide relevant criminal information from potential employers. DeWine said that more money needs to be spent on training police officers, including implicit bias training. Cordray once again referenced DeWine’s track record saying that he hadn’t done anything about criminal justice reform in the past. “You know how much they’re paying this year, in the Attorney General’s office, zero hours,” Cordray said. “His budget is $48 million higher this year than it was last year, zero hours for police training.” Cordray referenced how the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the Fraternal Order of Police have endorsed him. The two also responded to questions about education reform; both candidates agreed that there needs to be less standardized testing within the state. Cordray said he wants to take money from failing charter schools and use the money to better fund programs like early childhood development. DeWine said that he wants to redirect money for more mental health services and councilors within public schools. The last question centered on abortion. Cordray said he will respect women’s reproductive rights and cited DeWine’s support of the “no exceptions rule” — a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, without exceptions. Cordray also accused DeWine of supporting the heartbeat bill, which he calls extreme. DeWine responded by stating that he is anti-abortion. “The essential function of government is to protect the most vulnerable members of society,” DeWine said. “That includes the unborn.” The debate ended with a surprise invitation from Cordray to DeWine to hold a fourth debate in Toledo next week, but DeWine did not directly accept.