WTOL 11 interviews Richard Cordray ahead of November election

WTOL 11 speaks with Democratic candidate for governor Richard Cordray

TOLEDO (WTOL) - With less than three weeks to go before Election Day, the Ohio race for governor isn’t budging.

According to a new poll, Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray are still in a dead heat.

The poll by the University of Akron shows 37-percent of voters favor DeWine while 36-percent like Cordray.

In an exclusive interview with WTOL 11 Anchor Andrew Kinsey, Richard Cordray outlined his plans to address several key issues impacting northwest Ohio, if he wins on November 6th.

Richard Cordray stopped in Toledo on Thursday afternoon to fire up his key base of supporters ahead of election day.

"Betty Sutton and I represent a step forward into Ohio's future. Where do you want to go?,” asked Cordray.

Cordray says he has a blueprint to move the state forward, which includes northwest Ohio, an area he says is often overlooked in Columbus.

"State government has been pulling funding from local government and community services for years, and not bringing it back to this community, and I think that's wrong , and I want to change that,” said Cordray.

Part of the change includes funding for infrastructure which covers crumbling roads, bridges, access to broadband and public transit like TARTA.

"We will support public transit from the state level, and not have that all depended on the city and county, and give them support,” vowed Cordray.

Cordray says that support will include addressing the health of Lake Erie, which he claims has been neglected for years, prompting major water quality issue in Toledo back in 2015.

"We know the problem, the problem is agricultural runoff, and the state government has not addressed it, they wanted to ignore it for years, and not claim that western Lake Erie was impaired. Now that the impairment declaration has been made, we can pull down federal resources. But we need to bring people to the table and put in place, regulations that will control the runoff and that will help us start to cure Lake Erie," said Cordray.

Cordray says it's important to boost the candidate pool for area trade positions, which in recent months has struggled to find qualified individuals for high paying jobs.

"Our apprenticeship programs and building trades are the best in the world. They are better than the ones in Germany. What we need to do is find ways to open those up and expand those and restore vocational education," explained Cordray.

On the issue of the growing drug epidemic, Cordray blames failed polices which he plans to change in order to restore communities.

"We had Fentanyl deaths go from 70 a year, to 3,400 last year, so we need to crack down on drug dealers, get the deadly Fentanyl out of Ohio. we need to move forward with a new direction," said Cordray.

When asked about the highly controversial Issue One, which, if passed, would change drug possession felonies to misdemeanors, steering non-violent drug offenders away from prison and into treatment, Cordray said he is for it.

" I support Issue One, but I would also support any legislative package that would do the same thing,” said Cordray.

Cordray believes drug dependent individuals should be in rehab treatment centers and not jails.

WTOL 11 reached out to Mike DeWine who is running against Cordray to see what his plans are for northwest Ohio but has not yet received a response.

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