Older white man with glasses looking weird and crazy in a suit at a microphone

Heading into October the race for governor is by most accounts tighter than expected even though many pundits figured Ohio was continuing to trend red. Earlier this summer, polls had Democrat Richard Cordray leading Republican Mike DeWine. Of late, some polls show a dead heat or DeWine with a small lead.

Cordray is a relative unknown, but may have a chance, as Danny O’Connor did this past August in the special election. Cordray is probably best known for directing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during President Obama’s second term.

DeWine, on the other hand, is essentially the incumbent if you take Gov. John Kasich into account, says Cordray press secretary Mike Gwin.

“Mike DeWine has spent decades in Congress and in Columbus supporting policies that favor the wealthy, health insurers, and big drug companies, but hurt middle class Ohioans,” said Gwin to the Free Press. “After 42 years in politics, voters shouldn’t expect anything different from DeWine as governor.”

   But the Cordray campaign, along with many others, are keeping a close-eye on who DeWine will embrace more as November 6th nears.

Will he side with Kasich and seek Republicans from Upper Arlington, Delaware County, or the so-called Country Club set? Or will he go low, very low, and side with Trump and urge his base to vote?

   DeWine showed his hand when he attended the Ohio Republican state party dinner in August where Trump essentially muscled-out Kasich.

And you don’t have to be a political mastermind to see DeWine borrowing a page from Trump’s playbook by scaring (white) people with his law-and-order attack ads on TV.

   DeWine’s TV ad says Cordray’s plan “would allow drug dealers to remain on our streets. Even when they are caught with enough fentanyl to kill 10,000 people.”

The ad is false because it’s not Cordray’s plan, just his support for Issue 1, which will also be on the November ballot.

Issue 1 is a constitutional amendment that would make felony 4 and felony 5 drug possessions and drug use a misdemeanor with no jail time for first and second offenses within two years. Issue 1 does not change penalties for those convicted of drug trafficking.

DeWine’s over-the-top ad appeals to you-know-who: Trump’s delusional base. Those who stockpile guns, believe Obama created ISIS, and secretly hope Q convinces Trump to arrest Oprah, the Clintons, Soros, and many other elite leftists.

“DeWine was trying to balance himself between Kasich and Trump, but it seems like he’s increasingly going Trump,” says a state Democrat political operative who wished to remain anonymous. “He is in a very difficult position politically. He doesn’t want to offend Kasich because he’s governor, but he also doesn’t want to offend the Trump base, who may or may not show up for the mid-terms.”

Political science professor Dr. Paul Beck at the Ohio State University says if DeWine goes too far with his appreciation for Trump, whether it be genuine or counterfeit, it could equate into a Blue Wave for Ohio.

“I think a total embrace of Trump, especially if it distances him from Kasich, is a mistake,” says Beck. “He will gain no new voters, but may lose some.”

Selling out to Trump’s base makes us at the Free Press reach for a vomit bag. But what we also can’t stomach is DeWine’s hypocrisy when it comes to law-and-order. He obviously has little compassion for drug abusers, but what about massive corporate opioid drug dealers, such as locally-based Cardinal Health?

Don’t forget Cardinal Health pumped millions of painkillers into small town West Virginia and Florida, and did much of this drug dealing during DeWine’s time as Ohio Attorney General which started in 2010.

Indeed, Cardinal Health and others helped ignite the opioid and heroine crisis right under DeWine’s nose. True, he finally initiated a lawsuit against Cardinal Heath and others earlier this year, but so far he’s mostly just talked tough against these corporate drug dealers.

Would he ever arrest those corporate executives or owners of Cardinal Health who continuously ignored the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) when it repeatedly told them to stop supplying massive amounts of painkillers to vulnerable populations?

According to the Cordray campaign, DeWine has received $2.6 million from the healthcare industry during his 42 years in political office. So Cardinal Health, which rakes in $130 billion in revenue a year, will probably get a slap-on-the-wrist fine from DeWine.

Perhaps a significant X-factor in this race is DeWine’s running mate Jon Husted, Ohio’s current Secretary of State. As long-time followers of the Columbus Free Press know, Husted has turned Ohio’s voter purge efforts into the nation’s most strict and zealous, resulting in hundreds-of-thousands of urban voters being purged.

“Without a doubt, stripping of voter rolls, which disproportionately impacts Democrats, is the precursor for Republicans winning close elections,” says our own Bob Fitrakis.

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