Cordray, Kucinich Fight Over Health Care in Ohio Governor's Race

(Bloomberg) -- The two best known Democrats battling to become the party’s nominee for Ohio governor are fighting over who’s more liberal versus who can get things done.

In interviews on Bloomberg Radio on Monday, Richard Cordray, the former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said he’s campaigning on pragmatic solutions such as boosting Obamacare, while former congressman Dennis Kucinich said he’s focused on issues such as providing universal health care and banning assault weapons.

The candidates are making their final pitches ahead of Tuesday’s primary, when the GOP will also pick its nominee. The winner of November’s general election will replace Governor John Kasich, a Republican, who cannot run again because of term limits.

Republican candidates include Mike DeWine, the state attorney general and former U.S. senator, and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor.

Kucinich, a former mayor of Cleveland and U.S. representative known for his opposition to the Iraq war, is seeking to position himself to the left of Cordray.

"In some ways I wonder why he’s even running as a Democrat," Kucinich said on Bloomberg Radio. "I am for single payer, Medicare for all-type system, he is not. I am for ending fracking, which is poisoning our water resources in Ohio, he’s for continuing it."

Cordray called some of Kucinich’s policy suggestions "pie in the sky." He said he “wants to get things done” and will seek to preserve the expansion of Medicaid and improve Obamacare’s insurance exchanges.

On health care, he said Kucinich “has a supposed plan but has never said how he would pay for it or how it would work.”

A poll last month showed Cordray leading in the primary. Kucinich said he’s not deterred.

"I’m concerned about motivating people to go to the polling places, because when our vote comes out, we win," Kucinich said.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.