Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., hosted an early vote campaign rally in Walter Hall five days before the midterm elections to encourage voters to support Ohio Democratic candidates.
Gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray, his running mate for lieutenant governor, Betty Sutton, and U.S. House candidate Rick Neal joined Warren at this event. They sent a message to voters that they should vote for Democrats in order to protect health care and elect lawmakers who will not work for the rich and powerful.
“Republicans right now control the House of Representatives, control the Senate, control the White House. Here in Ohio, they control the state legislature, control the governor’s office,” Warren said. “I’ve got news for them: five more days!”
Cordray said his goal is to take back state government from the Republicans. He wants to stand up to both gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine and insurance companies, which he says hurt Medicare and social security.
“The issue for Ohio in 2018 is, are we going to step with confidence into our future? Or are we going to muddle along with one foot back in the past and a muddy status quo?” Cordray said. “We deserve much better than what we are getting from Columbus right now.”
Cordray encouraged students to take their friends to the polls in order to increase the amount of youth voters. He said if the youth vote goes up by just a bit, Democrats will be able to take back Ohio and open it up to become more progressive.
Sutton said Cordray is the best choice for governor because he has never turned away from a fight. She said Cordray has spent his career making a difference rather than making noise.
Sutton criticized DeWine for his positions on health care and said his decisions while in office to try and repeal regulations on insurance companies would have hurt those with pre-existing conditions.
“Make no mistake: Health care is on the ballot,” Sutton said.
Cordray’s former position as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the Obama administration was given to him by recommendation of Warren.
“Rich’s time in Washington, Rich’s willingness to jump into this race in Ohio, Rich’s ideas for how to build a stronger future for everyone in Ohio,” Warren said. “I look at this and here’s what rises in my heart: Rich is the nerd we need.”
Although Warren is an elected official from another state, Ohio and its gubernatorial race hold a lot of importance to her party. The election is a means for the Democratic Party to have a powerful ally in one of the most important swing states in the nation prior to the 2020 presidential election.
Warren said it is important to get out the vote in order to stand up for issues such as health care, accountability in government, workers’ rights to unionize and affordable college tuition. She said that Democrats will fix the justice system, believe in climate change, and save medicare and social security.
“We need everyone to vote, everyone to volunteer,” she said. “Five more days.”
The 400-500 person audience filled Walter Rotunda with students, Athens residents and local politicians, including Athens Mayor Steve Patterson and Ohio Statehouse candidate Taylor Sappington. Warren, Cordray and Sutton also stopped in Columbus before coming to Athens on Thursday for the rally.