Democrat Rich Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine will face off for the Ohio Governor’s seat in November after both candidates clinched their party’s respective nomination Tuesday evening. The 2018 gubernatorial race is a rematch of the 2010 Ohio attorneys general race when DeWine edged Cordray by a 1-point margin.
In the Republican primary, DeWine defeated Lt. Governor Mary Taylor by more than 20 points, while Cordray took 62 percent of the Ohio Democratic vote against five other candidates. Former Cleveland Mayor Dennis Kucinich grabbed 23 percent, State Sen. Joe Schiavoni had nine percent, while former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill took three percent.
Cordray and DeWine both received support from the party establishment, while spending a hefty sum fending off insurgent attacks from their political flanks. DeWine doled out more than $4.9 million, including a $1 million loan, while Cordray spent $1.7 million during the primary race. Both will now have to shore up funds ahead of a tight gubernatorial race in a bellwether state.
As the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Cordray has a close relationship with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. His campaign has focused on kitchen table issues like jobs, consumer protection and wages. As a former Senator, Congressman, Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor and State Senator, DeWine has served in Ohio state politics for more than 40 years.
The Cook Political Report and Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal ball have labeled the race as leaning Republican.
In the Republican Senate primary, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci defeated four other GOP candidates. While he only took 47 percent of the vote, he’s earned the right to challenge Democratic Sherrod Brown, who ran unopposed in the primary. Most polls have the Ohio senate race leaning Democratic.