Cordray wins backing of big labor


COLUMBUS —  Big labor on Tuesday took sides in the battle for the Democratic nomination for Ohio governor, endorsing former federal consumer watchdog and attorney general Richard Cordray.

Gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray
Gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray

The announcement from the Ohio AFL-CIO, the umbrella organization representing some 600,000 union members, is a major coup for Mr. Cordray on the eve of participating in his first debate with the three other major candidates.

“They have a proven record of standing up against a rigged system that makes it harder for working people to get ahead,” AFL-CIO Ohio President Tim Burga said. “As our governor and lieutenant governor, Richard Cordray and Betty Sutton will push for an economy that works for everyone by creating high quality jobs and raising wages.”

The move is another sign of major factions within the party coalescing behind the Cordray ticket even though the Ohio Democratic Party has not taken a stand and many voters have yet to start paying attention.

The fourth party-sanctioned debate of the season will take place Wednesday at Bowsher High School in Toledo, although it will be the first in which Mr. Cordray, former Cleveland congressman Dennis Kucinich, and former Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill will participate.

The only candidate left standing from the prior three debates is state Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D., Boardman). The other three original participants have all dropped out to either endorse Mr. Cordray or join his ticket.

“For years, leaders in Columbus have launched an ideological attack on the working men and women of Ohio and their ability to collectively bargain for good wages and safe workplace conditions,” Mr. Cordray said. “That’s wrong, and it has to stop. Betty Sutton and I will make it a point to put state government back on the side of the middle class, not the wealthy and well-connected who have run the show at the statehouse for far too long.”

The 90-minute debate will air Wednesday on WTOL-TV and be live-streamed at beginning at 5 p.m.

Contact Jim Provance at: or 614-221-0496.