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Dennis Kucinich Concedes To Richard Cordray In Democratic Race For Ohio Governor

Dennis Kucinich and running mate Tara Samples address supporters on election night. [Nick Castele / ideastream]

Democrats didn’t have to wait long to learn who’d be their gubernatorial nominee in November.

Fifty-six minutes after the polls closed, the Associated Press called the race for Richard Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Cordray beat former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich by double digits, taking 62 percent of the vote to Kucinich’s 23 percent.

At a downtown election night party, the former congressman from Cleveland accepted defeat and congratulated Cordray. But Kucinich said he and his supporters were engaged in a cause larger than one campaign.  

“We move forward in the interests of the people of Ohio and in the interests of the people all across the country who want Democrats to stand for Medicare for all, universal, single-payer, not-for-profit healthcare,” Kucinich said.

He said people want the party to fight for a host of progressive priorities, from a $15 minimum wage to two years of free college.

“And I am convinced, in talking to people across this state, that people want Democrats who will stand for safer neighborhoods, and who will stand for getting rid of these assault weapons once and for all,” he said.

His running mate, Akron City Councilwoman Tara Samples, addressed a message to young supporters.

“As you advocate for change in your communities and your neighborhoods, we will be right there with you,” Samples said. “This is not a loss. I need you all to understand that. This is bigger than just Dennis and I. This is about you all.”

This fall, Cordray will face the winner of the Republican primary, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.