As Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine prepared to debate face-to-face Wednesday, people protesting the policies of both candidates for Ohio governor also showed up divided on the issues, including who’s even allowed to debate..
Constance Gadell-Newton, the Green Party candidate for governor, was only to be seen or heard from a sidewalk across South Patterson Boulevard from the University of Dayton debate venue, where she gathered with about a dozen other party members.
“Unfortunately they made a debate schedule that does not include me, nor the Libertarian candidate. So we are out here protesting,” she said. “It’s really the people who should decide who is the best candidate for governor, not the media or the debate commission. To leave certain candidates out of the debate undercuts democracy, and it’s really an injury to voters.”
As the debate start neared, three DeWine supporters gathered across Carillon Boulevard from the Green Party, including Griffin Weasel, vice president of University of Dayton College Republicans. He said he was out to support DeWine before an event rare at the school.
“I’m just trying to be part of the energy at UD,” he said. “These opportunities don’t happen much, and I’m just excited to be a part of it.”
Weasel said he supports DeWine’s small-government philosophy.
“I believe people generally do better when their taxes are lower and they have more money in their own pocket rather than bureaucrats like Richard Cordray and Democrats in general,” he said.
Most of the demonstrators outside Daniel J. Curran Place before the debate were aligned against DeWine.
More than 20 people showed up for a rally organized by For Our Future Ohio and Planned Parenthood Votes Ohio, groups that support Cordray.
Will Smith of Dayton, the regional director at For Our Future Ohio, said DeWine has “already tried to rip at the ACA (Affordable Care Act)” and medical care could be in further jeopardy.
“We realize that if Mike DeWine were to get into office it could be scary for the health care of a lot of Ohioans,” Smith said. “That’s why we are out here supporting women’s rights, supporting the disenfranchised in our community, people that would be in harm’s way if DeWine were to get into office.”
As the debate began, Gadell-Newton and the other members of the Green Party were still on the sidewalk, as the others left to go watch the Democrat and the Republican debate.