Cor­dray ac­cepts endorsement of 3rd for­mer ri­val in gover­nor’s race

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Local News - By Julie Carr Smyth The As­so­ci­ated Press

COLUM­BUS » A third Demo­crat left the Ohio gover­nor’s race on Wed­nes­day and en­dorsed for­mer con­sumer watch­dog Richard Cor­dray.

For­mer state Rep. Con­nie Pil­lich said she made her de­ci­sion over the week­end after Ohio Repub­li­can Party lead­ers voted to en­dorse At­tor­ney Gen­eral Mike DeWine over Lt. Gov. Mary Tay­lor in a par­tic­u­larly bit­ter gu­ber­na­to­rial pri­mary.

“As the GOP ral­lies around Mike DeWine and prom­ises more of the destruc­tive poli­cies that have put our state into the care­less sit­u­a­tion it is now, it is time to come to­gether,” said Pil­lich, speak­ing at Cor­dray cam­paign head­quar­ters on Wed­nes­day.

“Democrats have to come to­gether, we have to put aside our dif­fer­ences and we have to unite.”

Pil­lich’s with­drawal leaves no woman lead­ing a Demo­cratic ticket, but she, Cor­dray and Cor­dray’s for­mer ri­val and run­ning mate, Betty Sut­ton, said that doesn’t mean women will play a back seat role.

“I do feel very, very strongly that it’s im­por­tant that we put women in po­si­tions of lead­er­ship and in­flu­ence,” Pil­lich said. “And, you know what, you’ve got two women right here in pretty strong po­si­tions of in­flu­ence and lead­er­ship.”

Sut­ton said Cor­dray is run­ning a non-tra­di­tional cam­paign where di­verse in­ter­ests are rep­re­sented “not just at one ta­ble, not just in a sym­bolic way, but in a real and sub­stan­tive way at ev­ery ta­ble and in num­bers that will mat­ter.”

Cor­dray dis­missed as “a dumb com­ment” Demo­cratic state Sen. Joe Schi­avoni’s sug­ges­tion that party in­sid­ers are forc­ing aside qual­i­fied can­di­dates to help hand Cor­dray the nom­i­na­tion. He said he’s gath­er­ing tal­ented Democrats into a coali­tion that can win against Repub­li­cans.

“We’re run­ning in a pri­mary elec­tion. What do you do? You go out and seek sup­port. When you’re get­ting sup­port, that’s good. When you’re not get­ting sup­port, that’s bad,” Cor­dray said. “We will con­tinue to go out and seek sup­port and build sup­port un­til, ul­ti­mately, what we will do is win the pri­mary race, which is the goal.”

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