Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray met for the second of three Ohio gubernatorial debates Monday night, and once again much of the conversation was about who did a better job as Ohio attorney general and who is more to blame for Ohio's problems.
DeWine has been Ohio's attorney general for the past eight years, and he was preceded by Cordray who served in the role for two years. So their debates are as much about showing who did the job better as it is about wider policies for the state of Ohio.
DeWine seems to be tiring of the constant attacks from Cordray, and said he's been told by Ohioans that people want to know what they're going to do as governor, not hear more back and forth insults.
Cordray disagrees, and said as long as what he's saying is true then there's no reason to pull punches.
“I don’t think it’s uncivil to contrast our records, as long as it’s truthful,” Cordray said. “If we can’t contrast our records, then what information do voters have to go on?”
The candidates once again debated State Issue 1, which would convert low-level drug crimes into misdemeanors. Cordray supports it, while DeWine believes it will lead to an increase in drugs on the street.
Both candidates agreed that they would veto right-to-work legislation. The proposal in question would require unions to get annual permission to withhold dues from workers' paychecks.
Even there the candidates found some disagreement, however; Cordray doesn't think that proposal should be put to voters as a ballot issue, while DeWine does.
Cordray blamed DeWine for waiting too long to act on the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, an online school that cost taxpayers millions by way of an enrollment inflation scandal. DeWine maintains that the state acted promptly, and is currently suing ECOT to get some of that money back.
DeWine took shots at Cordray again for leaving him with thousands of untested rape kits, an issue which DeWine says he has made great strides on with a bipartisan effort. Cordray fired back that DeWine shouldn't keep blaming him for his problems so long into his tenure.
The next debate in the Ohio governor's race is scheduled for Oct. 8.