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Candidate for lieutenant governor pushes for commission on women's issues

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    Betty Sutton, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, speaks about women’s issues at the Old West End Commons on Thursday.

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    Steve Robinson, Owens Community College president and CEO, left, talks with Betty Sutton, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, right, Aug. 10 at the college in Perrysburg.

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The Democratic campaign for Ohio’s top offices has a plan to give women a stronger voice.

Betty Sutton, candidate for lieutenant governor, spoke on women’s issues outside the Old West End Commons on Thursday morning. If elected, she and gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray will create the Ohio Commission on Women and Girls.

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Betty Sutton, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, speaks about women’s issues at the Old West End Commons on Thursday.

THE BLADE/ALEXANDRA MESTER
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“We plan to place this commission at the forefront of our efforts to ensure that our state laws and our policies reflect a deeper respect for the women in our state,” Ms. Sutton said.

How the commission would be formed and how its members would be chosen are yet to be determined, she said. But it would focus on three primary issues for women: economic security, fairness and opportunity in the workplace, and improved health and well-being.

Appearing with Ms. Sutton were state Rep. Teresa Fedor (D., Toledo); Paula Hicks-Hudson, former Toledo mayor and candidate for Ohio House District 44; Lisa Sobecki, candidate for Ohio House District 45; Annette Shine, candidate for the Ohio Board of Education in District 2; Lucas County Treasurer Lindsay Webb, and Toledo Councilman Yvonne Harper.

Ms. Sutton also noted the ongoing confirmation hearings in Washington for Republican Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s proposed appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, where women’s reproductive rights have been a leading topic.

“By November, we may no longer have a Supreme Court that respects a woman’s right to control her own body and her own life,” Ms. Sutton said.

The Republican gubernatorial candidate is no friend to women, she added.

“The governor cannot be Mike DeWine,” she said. “This is the same Mike DeWine, remember, who was obsessed with defunding Planned Parenthood. The same Mike DeWine who supported over 20 restrictions on a woman’s right to choose that Republicans have passed in the last seven years. The same Mike DeWine who has refused to stop the Trump Administration from taking us back to a time when being a woman is a pre-existing condition.”

Joshua Eck, spokesman for the DeWine campaign, said it’s no secret that Attorney General DeWine is anti-abortion and supports measures restricting abortion. But Mr. DeWine also championed efforts to secure justice for victims of sexual violence, the majority of which are women, he said.

“Immediately after taking office as attorney general, Mike DeWine undertook the task of finding over 12,000 untested rape kits from across the state that were sitting on shelves,” Mr. Eck said. “It’s a huge issue for women that Richard Cordray recognized but failed to address during his time as attorney general.”

Contact Alexandra Mester at: amester@theblade.com419-724-6066, or on Twitter @AlexMesterBlade.

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