Mike DeWine, the Ohio Republican candidate for attorney general, met with grass-roots supporters of the Lucas County Republican Party Wednesday, thanking them and spelling out the issues in his race against incumbent Democrat Richard Cordray.
Mr. DeWine said he wanted to meet the volunteers who earned top honors in the Ohio and national Republican Party for most effective phone bank. “There's a real intensity. It translates into getting people to turn out to vote,” Mr. DeWine said, in congratulating local party chairman Jon Stainbrook.
In his remarks, Mr. DeWine said the main issues in the campaign are a challenge to health-care reform; jobs and the business climate in Ohio; upgrading the state crime lab, and taking on corruption.
He quoted polls that show him with a slight lead, but added that Mr. Cordray's television commercials will start Thursday.
“You're going to see a lot of attacks,” Mr. DeWine said.
According to campaign finance reports from the Ohio Secretary of State's office, Mr. Cordray leads in fund-raising with $3.9 million in his campaign account to Mr. DeWine's $2.5 million.
Mr. Cordray, the former state treasurer, was elected in 2008 to replace Marc Dann, who resigned in the wake of a sexual-harassment scandal in the attorney general's office.
Mr. DeWine, a former U.S. senator who was defeated in 2006, told local supporters that if elected he would join other state attorneys general in challenging the health-care reform enacted earlier this year by a Democratic-controlled Congress and President Obama. The suit contends Congress cannot require people to buy health insurance.
“I will join the other 20 states who have filed lawsuits against Obama health care,” Mr. DeWine said. “I think it is unconstitutional and very hurtful to the state of Ohio.”
Asked Wednesday night for a response, Mr. Cordray said he did not join the lawsuit because he did not believe it was a wise use of the state's money. He said it was a weak case, but if it leads to an injunction it would apply to all states, not just those in the lawsuit.
“It's just political posturing he thinks will help him with his base voters,” Mr. Cordray said of Mr. De-Wine. He said Mr. DeWine has refused to debate the issue with him in person.
Mr. DeWine and his wife, Fran DeWine, mixed with about 25 local volunteers at the party's headquarters at 10 South Superior St.
The building has 35 phone lines, which volunteers use to call prospective voters and urge support of the Republican ticket.