Cordray, DeWine shift focus following Primary Election wins

The race to succeed term-limited Gov. John Kasich is the one most political observers predicted for months as Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine and Democratic former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray will face off in a rematch of the 2010 attorney general’s race.

Republicans are trying to maintain dominance in state government while Democrats are hungry to win a seat they’ve controlled for only four years since 1991. The race pits one of the longest-serving politicians in Ohio against a President Barack Obama appointee who many Democrats felt was their only hope at recapturing the governor’s office.

DeWine and Cordray won in landslide contests, with multiple media outlets declaring the other’s victory just an hour after the polls closed. As of 11:20 p.m., DeWine carried 60 percent of the Republican primary vote while Cordray had 62 percent of the Democratic primary.

DeWine declined to address his general election opponent in a scrum with reporters following his victory speech in Columbus.

“I’m not going to give away the game plan here, as much as I would love to,” he said. “But I don’t think I should do that. This is about where we want to take the state of Ohio. We’ll get to the comparing and contrasting, I suppose, later.”

Cordray congratulated DeWine on winning “one of the ugliest campaigns” he has ever seen but wasted no time in jabbing his general election component. Cordray painted himself as an advocate for consumers and working people while claiming DeWine only looked out for the wealthy and well-connected.

Cordray touted his work saving homeowners from foreclosure and going after Wall Street as head of the ConsumerFinancial Protection Bureau. He said DeWine, as the state’s top cop, looked the other way amid scandals involving the ECOT charter school and legislation cracking down on payday lenders.

DeWine starts the general election with the advantage in name recognition, campaign cash and historical success winning. Cordray is running in an atmosphere that favors Democrats and could have Obama and other officials campaigning for him in the state.

The DeWine-Cordray matchup is almost guaranteed to be the most expensive governor’s race in Ohio history. DeWine has already shown fundraising skills and that he’s not afraid to use significant sums of money. He dropped more than $8 million in ads in the final weeks of the primary.

The attack ads from outside groups were up less than an hour after the races were called. Moments after DeWine and Cordray were declared the victors, American Bridge, a liberal super PAC, announced a digital ad for the general election attacking DeWine.

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