By Izzy Sutton

As November 6th creeps closer, one important contest to look at is our gubernatorial race. This November, Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray are battling head-to-head to become the next Governor of Ohio. Their most recent debate took place just 20 minutes from HB at Cleveland State University. This was their third and final chance to debate and emphasize their views before early voting begins. The debate lasted a little over an hour, and the candidates discussed a wide range of issues. For the purpose of this article, I have decided to review the three biggest issues that came up during the debate: Issue 1, healthcare, and support for local governments. Obviously, these candidates have a lot more to say on these issues and more, and I encourage everyone to take a look at their respective websites to read the candidates’ official platforms. Even if you cannot vote, it is SUPER important to be informed about the candidates and issues on the ballot this fall.

Democrat: Richard Cordray and Betty Sutton

Republican: Mike DeWine and Jon Husted

Issue 1:

First, what is Issue 1?

Issue 1 is a proposed amendment to lower penalties for nonviolent drug use or possession.

     Supporters believe it will help reduce prison populations and turn users toward treatment.

     Opponents believe it will make Ohio less safe and judges will have less authority to send people to prison.

DeWine criticized Cordray’s support of Issue 1 and insisted the amendment is “a total disaster.” Cordray fired back, stating he sees Issue 1 as a way to help reform the criminal justice system. He mentioned that it was one step to necessary reform, but not the only one.


Both candidates made a clear point to talk about the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). Cordray, in support of the law, insisted that Mike DeWine’s filing of a lawsuit to block the Affordable Care Act proved his opposition to coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. DeWine rebutted he supported coverage for pre-existing conditions, but he did not support the Affordable Care Act. He stated, “many Ohioans didn’t like the Affordable Care Act”. He expressed his belief that Ohioans have the right to pick their own doctor and the Affordable Care Act stripped this right away.  

Support of local governments:

Cordray promised to reverse the cuts to local governments from the Kasich administration. DeWine also acknowledged the cuts, but did not promise he would restore everything that had been reduced. Both candidates turned their attention towards a specifically-Cleveland problem when asked about their plans and support for public transportation. DeWine promises he will listen to what local officials have to say and follow their lead. He said, “One of the big problems that we see is people who live in one area, but their jobs are in another, they are poor, they do not have transportation.” Cordray promoted his idea for an infrastructure plan. He suggested adding public transportation to part of a finance package. This proposal would be added to the ballot for the voters to approve or disapprove. He said, “They’ve approved infrastructure four times in the last 30 years. Revolutionarily, for the first time, we will support public transit as part of that.”


Amidst all the back and forth, there were some issues on which both candidates were in agreement. The largest area of agreement was the current issues in the education system. Both candidates agreed students take too many standardized tests and pledged to increase state support for early childhood education.