Dayton to host first governor debate at UD

Dayton Daily News, WHIO-TV, WHIO Radio media partners for first debate; 2 others planned.

The University of Dayton will host the first of three debates between gubernatorial candidates Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray, the campaigns announced on Friday.

The hour-long debate will be 7 p.m. Sept. 19 at the University of Dayton. Cox Media Group Ohio will broadcast it live on WHIO-TV and WHIO Radio and stream it live on its websites, and, as well as social media platforms. UD is sponsoring this first debate and Cox Media Group Ohio is the media partner.

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UD President Eric F. Spina said in a written statement: “The University is honored to be selected to provide a venue for civil discourse about issues facing our state and the opportunity to showcase the University of Dayton statewide.”

The debate will be held at the university’s river campus building. The debate will be conducted in front of an audience of 150 invited by the university and campaigns; no public tickets will be issued.

The two candidates have agreed to debate a second time Oct. 1 at a town-hall forum held at Marietta College. The third debate is scheduled for Oct. 8 to be held at Cleveland State University.

Each debate will have a moderator and a panel of up to three journalists. The venues are expected to seat up to 150 people.

“It is an important part of Cox Media Group’s commitment to community service to inform voters before they go to the polls in this fall’s election and vote for a new governor,” said Rob Rohr, market vice president Cox Media Group Ohio. “We are proud to partner with the University of Dayton to broadcast this first gubernatorial debate and will provide this coverage to other media outlets throughout the state who share our mission to support an informed democratic process.”

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Both candidates teams said they are excited to debate the issues facing the state.

"We are excited for Ohioans to see up close why Rich Cordray is the clear choice to lead this state," said Michael Halle, campaign manager for Cordray. "Rich has always stood up for working people in Ohio, and he is eager to discuss his vision to put money back in the pockets of middle class families and protect Ohioans’ access to quality, affordable health care.”

“I am glad we were able to agree on this series of debates ahead of the election,” said Dave Luketic, campaign manager for DeWine. “Mike DeWine looks forward to discussing his innovative ideas to strengthen Ohio’s workforce, provide a world-class education for our kids and deliver more opportunity for every Ohioan.”

Debates give voters a chance to see how candidates respond to unscripted questions on a wide array of topics and how the contenders interact with each other.

In the primaries, DeWine and his rival Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor did not debate while Democrats held five debate-like forums between September and April.

DeWine and Cordray, both lawyers and long-time Ohio office holders, debated one another in the 2010 campaign for attorney general. DeWine won that election.

Related: Governor candidates lay out economic plans for Dayton business leaders

The Ohio governor’s seat is open for the first time in eight years. Republican John Kasich cannot run again due to term limits.

University of Dayton is a private, Catholic university with nearly 11,000 students.


Dayton hosting first governor debate

Questions: What questions do you have for the governor candidates? Send them to us on our Ohio Politics Facebook page or email them to

How to watch: You can watch the Sept. 19 debate with Mike DeWine and Richard Cordray live at 7 p.m. on WHIO-TV Channel 7. You can also stream it on our newspaper web site.

Listen live: Listen to the debate on AM 1290 and News 95.7 WHIO then stick around for a live post-debate show starting at 8 p.m.

Post debate recap: Watch a special debate post-show on and Sept. 19 starting at 8 p.m.

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