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The Latest: DeWine, Cordray differ on abortion, drug issue

September 20, 2018

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on the debate between Ohio’s major-party gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine (all times local):

7:35 p.m.

Democrat Richard Cordray says he would veto a so-called heartbeat abortion bill if elected Ohio governor, while opponent Mike DeWine, the Republican attorney general, says he would sign the stringent restriction on the procedure.

Their positions on the abortion issue were among stark contrasts the two drew during their first debate at the University of Dayton on Wednesday.

The two also differ on Issue 1, a statewide ballot item that calls for reducing criminal sentences for non-violent drug offenses.

DeWine opposes it. He said loosening the penalties will open the door to drug dealers. Cordray supports the issue. He said too many Ohioans are in prison for such offenses and there are more humane, productive and cost-effective solutions for drug offenders.

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This story has been corrected to show the ballot issue deals with sentences not charges.

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7:32 p.m.

Ohio’s major-party governor candidates have kicked off their first debate with pointed attacks involving the state’s opioid crisis.

Democrat Richard Cordray, the former federal consumer watchdog, says rival Republican Mike DeWine has failed to adequately tackle the deadly painkiller epidemic during two terms as the state’s attorney general. He told an audience at Wednesday’s debate at the University of Dayton that allowing DeWine to oversee the crisis would be like “asking for navigation advice from the captain of the Titanic.”

DeWine says Cordray has a “track record of failure.” He said Cordray embraces a statewide ballot issue reducing drug-related criminal penalties that’s “dangerous.” He called the position “totally outrageous.”

The candidates seek to succeed Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik), who’s term-limited. It’s one of the year’s closely watched governor’s races.

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1:56 a.m.

Major party candidates for Ohio governor are set for the first of three debates ahead of the November election.

Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray, the former federal consumer watchdog, are scheduled to meet in Dayton Wednesday night.

Future debates are scheduled for Oct. 1 in Marietta and Oct. 8 in Cleveland.

Former President Barack Obama campaigned in Cleveland on behalf of Democrats including Cordray on Sept. 13. Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, was in Ohio the same day to raise money for Republican candidates including DeWine.

The winner of the November general election will succeed two-term GOP Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik).

The Libertarian Party of Ohio says Libertarian and Green Party candidates are being unfairly excluded from the gubernatorial debates.

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