U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) announced in Toledo on Monday she would back former federal consumer watchdog Richard Cordray in his bid for Ohio governor.
Miss Kaptur, who on Sunday will become the longest-serving female member in the history of the House, said Mr. Cordray and his running mate, Betty Sutton, understand the state's strategic assets and how to use them to work for Ohioans.
"This is a time for reset in Ohio for new leadership. A time for leaders who hold a vision for new progress for Ohio," she said at the National Museum of the Great Lakes in East Toledo.
Mr. Cordray is in a four-way primary for the Democratic nomination with state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill.
Miss Kaptur said the state under its current leadership has fallen behind the country on key issues, including education, health care for the elderly, road infrastructure, and the infant birthrate.
“We need leaders who understand Ohio’s strategic assets and see the opportunity to seize a better future for us all. I know Richard Cordray and Betty Sutton will do exactly that,” she said.
Mr. Cordray, who has held the state offices of treasurer and attorney general, resigned late last year as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, one of the last major Obama-era holdouts in the Trump Administration.
U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur endorses Richard Cordray, Democratic candidate for Ohio governor, and his running mate Betty Sutton, during an event at the National Museum of the Great Lakes, Monday in East Toledo.
Ms. Sutton, the former Obama-appointed administrator of the Washington-based Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp., ended her bid for the Democratic nomination in January to run as Mr. Cordray's lieutenant governor.
Miss Kaptur said Mr. Cordray and his running mate have the experience and background to solve problems such as harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie and the growing opioid crisis. Democratic leaders, including city and county officials and candidates for county offices, and Ironworkers Local 55 members joined the congressman at the museum for the announcement.
Mr. Cordray, in a meeting with The Blade’s editorial board Monday afternoon, said he was “glad to be endorsed” by Miss Kaptur and outlined his positions on hot-button issues, including economic development, state funding for local governments, and charter schools.
“Betty and I are running this year on what we call ‘the kitchen-table issues.’ These are the things we hear about all over Ohio from people and their families,” he said. “Access to affordable health care, getting the education and training that people and their children need to be able to be strong performers in the workplace, and spreading out economic opportunity around Ohio so it’s not just the preserve of a few.”
He said Ohioans in rural communities, and even medium-sized towns, have watched Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati grow in prosperity while they are left stagnant.
“People there very much do feel left out of the discussions and the deliberations in Columbus,” he said.
Mr. Cordray said he intends to fix that, in part by investing in small businesses and by creating an Ohio Peace Corps to send young people into communities that need a boost.
He also would like to pursue both oil and gas drilling in eastern Ohio, renewable energy in northwest Ohio, and access to broadband Internet across the state.
Mr. Cordray said he would fight to restore lost funding to local governments as well as work to hold charter schools more accountable and close those that are ineffective.
“We’ve always had a strong mix of public and parochial schools in Ohio, and that has worked relatively well,” he said. “The for-profit charter schools being injected into this as a massive experiment I think has not worked well and needs to be reviewed, curtailed, and perhaps eliminated altogether.”
Former Cleveland Congressman Dennis Kucinich, one of Mr. Cordray’s Democratic opponents, last week met with The Blade’s editorial board to outline his opposition to a regional water deal in Toledo. He called it a bad deal for Toledoans and argued that the suburban communities that currently buy water from the Toledo-owned Collins Park Water Treatment Plant would come out ahead with the deal as it’s written now.
Mr. Cordray on Monday said he did not want to weigh in on the regional water issue but did take a jab at his opponent.
“Dennis goes all over the state and gets involved in local issues where he has looked at it for three or four days and has it all figured out,” he said. “I think a lot of local officials get pretty agitated because they’ve been working on these issues for a long time, and they're trying to get results, and all the grandstanding just interferes with things.”
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.