Rich Cordray

photo of Steve Dettelbach

A nominee for statewide office is breaking away from the top of the ticket when it comes to Issue 1. The constitutional amendment would reduce criminal sentences for non-violent drug offenders, and it’s becoming a major issue for several campaigns.

Democratic Attorney General nominee Steve Dettelbach said he will vote no on Issue 1, because while it’s a worthy cause, putting it in the state constitution makes it too difficult to amend. This puts Dettelbach at odds with Democrat gubernatorial nominee Richard Cordray, who supports Issue 1.

Cuyahoga County Drug Court Judge Opposes Issue 1

Sep 25, 2018
NICK CASTELE / ideastream

One of Cuyahoga County’s drug court judges joined Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine in opposing state Issue 1, which would reduce penalties for drug possession.


Judge Joan Synenberg, who presides over one of the county’s two drug dockets, spoke alongside DeWine at a campaign event Monday.

Drug courts put defendants on a plan to receive treatment in exchange for having their case dismissed. Fifty-five counties in Ohio have at least one drug docket.


Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Rich Cordray went head-to-head in their first debate in the race for governor. The two traded jabs in what escalated into a heated debate over their records.

DeWine didn’t pull any punches against Cordray.

“You know Richard you’re all talk, and you do nothing. You’ve been a failure in every job you’ve ever had,” DeWine said.

And Cordray came out swinging from the start.

“He believes that after 42 years in office, he’s entitled to be governor,” Cordray fired back.

photo of David Miller

Environmental advocates are putting their support behind Democrat Rich Cordray in his campaign for governor. They say between him and his Republican opponent, Mike DeWine, Cordray is the one who will back environmental protections and support clean energy.

Ohio’s top environmental groups say Cordray has shown he can implement strong standards for clean air and clean water in the state.


Rich Cordray and Mike DeWine are both making the only statewide issue on the fall ballot a major topic of their gubernatorial campaigns. This puts an even bigger spotlight on the measure that would scale down prison time for non-violent drug offenders.  

Issue 1 is touted as a way to send more people with substance abuse disorders to treatment rather than prison. But opponents say reducing sentencing disincentivizes treatment. And it’s increasingly becoming a partisan issue among candidates, with DeWine opposing it and Cordray supporting it.