Republican Mike DeWine defeated Democrat Richard Cordray Tuesday night to win the election for governor of Ohio.
NBC News called the race for DeWine at 11:14 p.m. eastern.
With 97.6 percent of precincts reporting, DeWine had 51 percent of the vote to Cordray’s 46.2 percent. The race was not as close as many pundits predicted it would be.
DeWine, the current attorney general of Ohio and former United States Senator, ran a cautious campaign and kept an arms length relationship with President Trump. He was in an unusual situation, requiring the support of the Ohio Republican establishment, which is loyal to incumbent Gov. John Kasich, an outspoken critic of the president and a potential 2020 challenger.
Cordray, for his part, carried the heavy burden of a longstanding association with the far left wing of the Democratic Party. A protege of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cordray was named by President Obama to serve as the first director of the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2013. During his controversial tenure there he enacted a number of regulations which conservatives considerated overreaching and beyond the scope of his legislative authority.
For his part, Cordray was unrepentant for his tenure at CFPB and consistently promoted a far left agenda when he resigned from the CFPB in November 2017 and returned to Ohio to announce his gubernatorial run.
At a debate in October, the two offered very different views of their plans for Ohio:
Mike DeWine promised in Monday’s night’s gubernatorial debate to be focused on jobs and job creation “every single day I’m in office” while his opponent Richard Cordray said he would focus most strongly on healthcare reform.
With the format switching to a town-hall setting at Marietta College, the two candidates had less time to attack each other than in the first debate. But that didn’t deter Cordray. He still made sure to spend the first 20 to 30 seconds of almost every question he answered attacking DeWine.
When it comes to healthcare, Cordray said DeWine’s campaign “should come with a warning from the surgeon general: Electing Mike DeWine as governor will be hazardous to your health.”
DeWine scored a zinger when it came to the ECOT charter-school scandal.
“When we ran against each other the last time, ECOT gave Richard money, not me. I don’t think he ever gave it back.”
The contentiousness of that debate continued through the final weeks of the campaign.
This was the second time the two men met in a statewide election.
In 2010 DeWine, the challenger, defeated incumbent Cordray to become Ohio’s attorney general, a position he has held ever since.