LIVE NOW: Ohio Democratic governor candidates debate

Final preparations are made for the second official Ohio Democratic Party gubernatorial debate at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. WILL GARBE / STAFF

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Final preparations are made for the second official Ohio Democratic Party gubernatorial debate at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. WILL GARBE / STAFF


Ohio’s four official candidates for governor closed the second debate Sunday night.

In closing, Sen. Joe Schiavoni said he “comes up with bills ... and plans that aren’t just going to benifit the people of northeast Ohio, but are going to benefit everybody.”

Schiavoni frequently referred to legislation he has proposed in the Senate, railing too against line item vetoes.

Betty Sutton said she fought to get thousands of people back to work in the height of the recession, and will continue to fight.

“It does not have to be this way, we are a great state,” she said. “We will make Ohio work for everyone.”

Former state Rep. Connie Pillich highlighted her ties to labor while representing a Republican district.

“My mission is to fight for you as your next governor,” Pillich said.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley closed the debate reiterating lines from her campaign launch video.

“I believe that Ohio’s best days can be ahead of us,” Whaley said, noting again her fight against the drug companies.

UPDATE @ 6:20 P.M.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley’s primary opponents have said her lawsuit against drug manufacturers is “not enough” to combat the opioid crisis.

Whaley said she has been “working constantly” on the opioid crisis, as Dayton is one of the hardest hit cities in the nation.

RELATED: City of Dayton sues drug manufacturers for alleged role in overdose epidemic

The city of Dayton sued more than a dozen pharmaceutical companies, distributors and pain specialists in June, alleging the parties caused the opioid crisis that has killed thousands of Ohioans.

The city filed the lawsuit one week after Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a similar lawsuit brought by the state. DeWine, a Republican, is also running for governor in his party’s primary.

Whaley touted Dayton was the first city in Ohio to sue the drug companies, something her opponents argued is ineffective, or insufficient.

“Suing the drug companies is all well and good, but that is going to take years and years,” said state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, a Democratic candidate for governor.

Added U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, “I agree with suing the drug companies ... it is not enough and it is too little, too late.”

Former state Rep. Connie Pillich did not address Dayton’s lawsuit.

Whaley has also proposed attaching a “surcharge,” or tax, on opioids.


Four of Ohio’s Democratic candidates for governor are debating tonight amid the announcement that Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill will join the race.

The official candidates — former state Rep. Connie Pillich, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, and former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton — joined each other on stage for their second debate of the day.

NEW: Ohio Chief Justice issues warning to Justice O’Neill after he announces run for governor

The event is at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

The candidates debated on live television earlier Sunday on an hour-long talk show hosted by Scott Light at WBNS-TV in Columbus.

EARLIER: Watch Sunday morning’s Ohio Democratic governor candidate debate

On the Republican side of the race the declared candidates are: Attorney General Mike DeWine of Cedarville, Secretary of State Jon Husted of Upper Arlington, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor of Uniontown.

Related: Democratic governor candidates focus on jobs, addiction in debate

Related: Republicans running for governor talk guns, religion and Kasich

Related: Closer Look: Financials of Ohio governor candidates

Related: Mary Taylor opens up about her sons’ opiate addictions

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