Democratic Ohio governor candidates to debate Tuesday

Debate is first of the 2018 election cycle, first for Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

Democrats hoping to replace Gov. John Kasich will meet for their first debate on Tuesday.

Both parties have crowded fields for the May primary election, and it could get even more crowded before Election Day.

The debate is at 7 p.m. at Martins Ferry High School in Martins Ferry, a small city near the West Virginia border.

Formr lawmaker Connie Pillich, left, and Ohio Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman,
Photo: Staff Writer

The location may seem remote to most people, but there’s a strategy to choosing the location.

RELATED: Who is running for Ohio governor?

Martins Ferry is in Belmont County — a county President Donald Trump won in 2016 with 52 percent of the vote. However, President Barack Obama won the county in 2012 and in 2008. Democratic Party leaders are hoping to flip some of the counties that went for Trump in 2016 back to the Democratic column in 2018.

RELATED: Democrat Connie Pillich proposes public health care buy-in

The candidates taking part in the debate are Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Youngstown-area state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, former Akron-area Congresswoman Betty Sutton and former Cincinnati-area state Rep. Connie Pillich.

Former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton.
Photo: Staff Writer

You can watch the debate stream live on our Ohio Politics Facebook page.

Innovation Ohio CEO/President Janetta King will moderate the 90-minute debate.

The Democratic field for governor has been at four declared candidates for months, but there are other candidates rumored to be considering a run. Former state attorney general and treasurer Richard Cordray, former Cleveland Congressman and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich and talk show host and former Cincinnati Mayor Jerry Springer are all said to be considering jumping in the race.

On the Republican side, candidates include Attorney General Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Jon Husted, Congressman Jim Renacci and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.

Related: Cordray mum on possible governor run

Related: How much are Ohio governor candidates worth?

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