Ohio's candidates for governor square off in contentious first debate

(WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - After months of attack ads, Ohio's candidates for governor took the stage in a contentious first debate Wednesday night at the University of Dayton.

Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray were both hoping to win over undecided voters less than two months before they head to the polls.

One of the main focuses of the night was how each candidate would address the opioid crisis.

"Mike, you've had 8 years to address this problem," Cordray said, "and you have failed Ohio."

"What Richard Cordray would do would destroy treatment as far as our drug courts are concerned," DeWine said.

Cordray responded by defending his support for Issue 1, which would reduce penalties for drug users and provide funding to rehab programs. Both also spoke out in support of Medicaid expansion, but DeWine said that it could be improved.

Knowing students were watching Wednesday night, both also took on the topic of student debt, addressing how they would bring it down.

"We will work on the plans that our community colleges have been developing to get more high school students the ability to develop college credit before they leave high school," Cordray said.

"I will appoint people to every state university," DeWine said, "and the conversation I will have with them and ask, 'Will you work on this problem, will you keep these costs down'."

The students who spoke to FOX 45 News' Rachel Aragon said that they were pleased both candidates addressed student debt.

The second debate is set to be at Marietta College on October 1.

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