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Candidate wants more faceoffs in contested governor's race

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Posted at 3:44 PM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-09 15:44:21-04

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Democratic candidate for Ohio governor said Tuesday there should be more debates in the tightly contested race.

Richard Cordray and Republican rival Mike DeWine had their third debate Monday night in Cleveland, the final faceoff both campaigns agreed to participate in. After talking with people in the Sugar n' Spice Restaurant in Cincinnati, Cordray said he wants to debate again.

"We have a whole month," Cordray said. "We can have more."

He cited Toledo and Cincinnati as possible sites for another debate. He and DeWine have also squared off in Dayton and Marietta.

DeWine's campaign didn't respond immediately to a message for comment.

The matchup between Cordray, former President Barack Obama's federal consumer protection chief, and Ohio's GOP attorney general is one of the nation's most expensive, closely watched governor's races. Republican Gov. John Kasich is vacating the job due to term limits.

DeWine narrowly ousted Cordray in the 2010 attorney general election and polls have indicated they are in another close race with early voting beginning Wednesday.

In their Cleveland debate, DeWine, a former U.S. senator, described himself as a pragmatic problem-solver who's worked with Democrats, Republicans and independents.

"And the way I've done it is to bring people together," DeWine said.

Cordray said DeWine should have used the power of his office more effectively to protect consumers and to better train police.

The candidates have recently clashed on Issue 1, a November ballot issue aimed at reforming Ohio's drug laws by reducing the state's prison population and making millions of new dollars available for drug treatment. Cordray supports the measure, while DeWine and other critics say it would open the door to drug traffickers and ruin the state's successful drug courts.

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Associated Press writer Julie Carr Smyth contributed in Cleveland.