Free tickets to the last debate among the four Democratic Party candidates for Ohio governor will be available from the Miami University box office beginning today.
The April 10 debate sponsored by the Journal-News and WLWT-TV — and to be aired live on television and the Journal-News website — will feature invited candidates vetted by the Ohio Democratic Party, which sanctioned the town hall-style forum. Candidates include former congressman Dennis Kucinich, former Ohio Attorney General and former U.S. consumer watchdog Richard Cordray, Ohio Sen. Joe Schiavoni and former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill.
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This debate is hosted by Miami University Regionals at its Middletown campus. It is “a very important” civic engagement opportunity for voters, said Sarah Woiteshek Pietzuch, director for Miami University Regionals’ Center for Civic Engagement.
“Miami is excited to be offering this voter education opportunity for Southwest Ohio citizens,” said Woiteshek Pietzuch, one of the organizers of the forum. “Having the public be present on the night of the 10th is incredibly important for us to meet our civic responsibility for the community.”
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Candidates Kucinich, Cordray, Schiavoni and O’Neill are competing for the Democratic Party’s nomination and will address various topics, including the economy, education and the opioid crisis. The winner of the Democratic primary will face the winner of the GOP primary, which pits Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor against Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. The primary for both parties is on May 8, and early voting starts on April 10.
Part of the forum includes questions from the audience but will be vetted by the organizers in advance of the debate. You can send questions to ButlerCountyNews@coxohio.com, and include "April 10 Governor Debate" in the subject line.
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WLWT anchor Sheree Paolello will moderate, with Miami University Regionals political science professor John Forren, Journal-News political reporter Michael D. Pitman and WLWT anchor Courtis Fuller serving as panelists. Members of the audience will be able to ask questions during the town hall-style debate.
It’s “critical” for the public to know where these candidates stand on the important issues facing the state as “one of the missions of the Journal-News is to encourage and facilitate dialogue about the issues facing our communities,” said Rob Rohr, Cox Media Group Ohio Market Vice President.
With the state “entering a crucial time for Ohio voters,” WLWT President and General Manager Branden Frantz said the station “is committed to providing airtime to candidates so viewers can make an informed decision on the candidates and the issues.”