Richard Cordray Defeats Dennis Kucinich in Ohio Democratic Primary

May 08, 2018 · 73 comments
Northpamet (Sarasota, FL)
Again, as they did in Alabama, the Republicans are treating the world to a freak show. West Virginia made itself a laughing stock by even having this man on ballot, and freak shows, like the class clown role, can be pretty seductive as you wallow in your own degradation. That he received more than seven votes (estimating his time immediate family size) is reason to cringe.
Charles Kaufmann (Portland. ME)
Trump did not speak out against Blankenship because he was "unworthy of the Senate," but because Blankenship "can't win the general election in your State" [sic: state in this case is a common noun and should not be capitalized]. Big difference from a man so unworthy in so many ways.
shend (The Hub)
Perhaps a part of Blankenship's ( the Trumpiest candidate so far) election flop was that in West Virginia, the most Trumpiest State in the nation, that even his (Trump's) voters are getting tired of Trump's schtick. I think while a lot of Trump supporters are still there for Trump, those supporters are more than a little weary of Trump as well. This November we feel much more like a trudge to the polls for Trumpers than it did in 2016.
Pennjazz (Morgantown, WV)
It's not the question of people getting tired of Trump in WV, it's most people (left and right) wouldn't vote for Blankenship because of the mine disaster and his failure of maintaining safety measures. People in WV have not forgiven or forgotten...
Marc Castle (New York)
With the corruption inducing Citizens United disaster of a Supreme Court decision, politicians are basically lying puppets of the top, wealthiest 1%, and corporate executives. Of course the Republicans didn't need Citizens United, they were already corrupt puppets. Until Citizens United is reversed, and real campaign, and elections reforms are put into place to minimize the influence of big money in politics, elections will continue to be fake idiot shows.
kkseattle (Seattle)
I’m a little surprised that Republicans seem to be losing their appetite for felons so quickly. You’d think a coal mine owner responsible for the deaths of 29 of his employees would be a perfect fit for today’s GOP.
bhs (Ohio)
Dennis Kucinich is regarded as a lovable oddball by most Ohio Democrats and as a kook by everyone else. He had no chance. Cordray is smart, accomplished, perfect for public office. Elizabeth Warren's support is all well and good - lots of us admire her - but she sounds like East Coast people who use words like flyover country to diminish us. She should probably stay home and write letters. If an accomplished, laid back man from Hawaii who moved to the Midwest, a man who won two statewide elections in Ohio, would show up to turn out Democrats, now that would help Cordray and Sherrod Brown. And he should bring a date.
Jonathan Katz (St. Louis)
"narrowly averted disaster"? Not narrowly; Blankenship came in third with about 20% of the vote. West Virginians don't vote for a man who kills coal miners.
RespectBoundaries (CA)
Gee, I wonder what Trump's tweeting now.. "Great night for the GOP! Republicans won all 4 GOP primaries! Of course NYT will claim the elections were rigged. Fake News!"
Ross Salinger (Carlsbad California)
Interesting result in NCal. So, you live in a country that constitutionally protects all religions - no state religion. Then you run against gay marriage because your religion tells you that it's wrong. (Something for which there is no actual evidence - just what's in your holy book.) So, basically you want to impose your religion on the rest of us in defiance of the constitution. Very nice. The beauty is that you bill yourself as a "conservative" who intends to protect the constitution. In fact, if elected you have to pledge to protect it. Why can't the voters in NCal see the problem here? Not to mention that opposing gay marriage is not going to fix anything that's wrong in the USA ranging from schools to infrastructure and on toward poverty and hunger. Nope. How did we become a nation of fools?
shend (The Hub)
Biggest news out of West Virginia is that only 136,000 total votes were cast for the Republican Senate primary which was expected to be close, but there were 160,000 votes cast in the West Virginia Senate Democratic primary in what was expected and was a blowout for the incumbent. More Dems voted than Pubs voted in the West Virginia primary, a State that Trump won by 41 points. Wow.
Christy (WA)
The last thing we need is another Pence in Congress. And I for one would like to know why ex-felons, who lost the right to vote when they were convicted of crimes, are still allowed to seek the votes of fellow American by running for political office. Don't the House and Senate have rules that would bar the likes of Blankenship and Grimm from even running?
steve (Hudson Valley)
"Mavericks"???? Convicted felon is not a definition of a maverick. A homophobic "Christian Minister" is not a maverick. These are symptoms of a corrupt, broken GOP, who are attracting the worst kind of people to represent the "people". That is frightening.
John (Chicag0)
Depressing to read amount of money in the bank per candidate as the leading description of their electability.
Becky (SF, CA)
Who were these people who thought they should vote for Mr. Blankenship? It would be interesting to know their demographics.
Kcf (Kure Beach, NC)
Mixed blessing in North Carolina. We had mostly local elections. The turnout in our little beach town was much better than expected. Our District 7 Democratic candidate is a good one. If she can spend enough time and money in the northern part of our gerrymandered District, perhaps we can rid ourselves of the toxic David Rouzer. However, on the other side of the State, Mark Meadows won by a large margin. Perhaps I should visit the mountains more and try to determine what they're thinking (or why they are not thinking).
Brett ( DC)
GOP will Shock and Awe Dems in November. Pelosi will me put into a mental institution and the Clintons are going through attorneys left and right to defend their criminal cases. Comey and several others will be in legal trouble as well. The world does not like democrats. They are Liars and Hypocrites.
Steve Andrews (Kansas)
“...while mainstream Democrats fended off a liberal insurgent in the Ohio governor’s race, bringing relief to the establishment of both parties…” That’s an curious statement. I thought the Democrats were the “liberal” party, and yet to both The Times and the Democratic powers that be, liberals are seen as insurgents. At least later in the article, The Times acknowledges that Mr. Cordray is also a liberal. I hope he will live up to that description.
adara614 (North Coast)
Nobody deserved to be defeated more than Dennis Kucinich. Dennis is a bad joke and people in NE Ohio are all to familiar with his arrogant, selfish, behavior.
Justin (Collegeville, PA)
Kucinich has been a liberal voice of conscience--Bernie before Bernie. I just think he was effectively ahead of the curve.
Lawrence (Washington D.C.)
How about an article on who did win Democratic primary's in West Va. red country. People like Tjeda, Sergent, and Fershee. I've read Tjeda has a chance at flipping the seat. Shine some light on these people, please.
John (Stowe, PA)
First time this year that Republicans have turned away a felon in the primary. They have four running. And a Nazi in Illinois. Democrats rejected the far left part of the party. As they usually do. Like they did with Sanders. (great neck new york)
Dems should be nervous about November, because they have too few accomplishments, too little fight. This is a critical election, one of the most important in decades. What have Dems done for coal country? What are have they brought to the table in rural Ohio? Or Indiana? Every Senate seat must be won, and almost all House seats as well. Even here in New York, we long for local accomplishments such as low cost statewide universal health insurance or a repaired subway or two. Who are those Republican State Senators who have blocked reform just because they can? Being against DT (while important) doesn't fully count. Dems must fight for every seat, but those in office now must also bring something to the table that voters can see in November. Too many live with empty promises but hunger for something tangible in the voting booth.
Nick (Brooklyn)
Paula Jean Swearengin got more votes than any Republican. She got nearly twice the votes as Blankenship. What she did not get was any coverage at all from the NY Times. The Times has already forgotten the lessons of 2016 and decides to give plenty of coverage to a dangerous nut (Blankenship) and none to the Progressive.
Jon (UK)
'Blankenship loses'? I'm just blown away by the idea that it's possible to be too racist and right-wing to be a GOP candidate...
Fred (Up North)
Time to put Kucinich out to pasture where he can look for more UFOs.
Lewis Sternberg (Ottawa, Canada)
How remarkable that the good Republicans of West Virginia had the sense to reject Blankenship and what hubris by him & the N.Y.T. to ascribe his defeat to anything Trump did. Give the people credit where it’s due!
It's encouraging and instructive to see that Americans of both parties are not stupid enough to vote for someone who won't win.
Mitch (New York)
You make a significant claim that Dennis Kucinich is a member of a group sympathetic to the Syrian despot, but provide no proof or link to further information. Please revise the article with that information, so that it does not appear as a baseless claim.
C Wolfe (Bloomington IN)
Here's the story locally that's both staggered and exhilarated me. On our Democratic primary ballot, women won every single contested slot, including Indiana's Ninth Congressional district. If a man had someone running against him, it was a woman (or two), and he lost. This includes a tight loss for a very popular former prosecutor running for a seat on the circuit court. Check it out: I'm not just an exulting feminist--I voted for a couple of the men--but I am nonetheless exulting. I don't know what if anything this means for November, but here's hoping.
RM (Vermont)
One wonders what could make a West Virginian pull a lever for someone who was convicted of killing 29 miners in his unsafe mine. But then, I also wonder how anyone in New Jersey could vote for Bob Menendez, who thinks his hung jury was vindication, and his Senate censure by a bipartisan committee was just something to get behind him. And i also wonder how the National Rifle Association could elect, as President, someone convicted of crimes against the United States.
Bos (Boston)
America has acted rational for a change
expat (Japan)
"...unworthy of the Senate, given that he served a year in prison in connection with a mining disaster in 2010 that killed 29 men, and made racially offensive comments during the campaign." You'd think that, post-Roy Moore, the GOP would consider these to be accolades.
Keith (Pittsburgh)
Pity that Democrat voters in OH didn't have a good choice in either.
Susan Anderson (Boston)
Nice trolling. They are both good people who actually care about somebody other than the superrich and don't want to destroy our country or start dangerous and unnecessary wars. If you want to deceive, try not spitting out "Democrat voters" which are actually Democratic voters.
Jack Toner (Oakland, CA)
What's wrong with Cordray? Looks good to me. Oh, you think it's terrible that the government might prevent some corporate scamming of folks. How can they prosper if they aren't ripping people off?
gusii (Columbus OH)
Yes we did and elected a good man. Kucinich wasn't just un-electable, he is nuts.
kilika (Chicago)
Thank goodness!
SR (Bronx, NY)
Long as the lede may already be, it deserved a third fact: Paula Jean's 30% share in her primary against Manchin (just under 70%, both as of Tueday 11:37PM eastern[1]). Those 30% (like I) are rather tired of Manchin's complicity with the "covfefe" GOP, and want someone like PJS who's dealt with their problems and will work to change them. Like the 62%-33% split between Cuomo and Teachout here in 2014,[2] it's a warning to Manchin: quit fooling around and work for US, not the GOP. [1] [2],_2014#Demo...
C Wolfe (Bloomington IN)
This isn't exactly a great example of Democratic strategic thinking at work. I'm sure my politics align congenially with SR and PJS, but: A 70 percent win is a landslide. A more liberal candidate in West Virginia can't win in November. Your address, regarding the election of a senator from WV, is the Bronx?
cgk (NY NY)
Fwiw, Manchin voted against every GOP effort to kill the ACA. He also made an heroic effort, after Newtown, to get a gun control bill through the Senate. He’s far more conservative than I - but he has stood with Dems many times when it mattered.
Ken (St. Louis)
O, the poor Trump base in West Virginia: elected a lying, cheating businessman to the presidency, but couldn't repeat the effort for Blankenship in the Senate.
common sense advocate (CT)
It's not conscionable to call the dishonorable Blankenship a maverick in this headline. A man who makes decisions solely for his own benefit - regardless of whether people or the environment are destroyed in the process - is not a free thinking maverick, he is greedy and dangerous. The real maverick was featured in the paper.of record this week - describing the march of distinguished public servants to visit him during his battle with cancer in Arizona. John McCain's honorific has no business anywhere near the likes of Blankenship.
Jonathan Saltzman (Provo, Utah)
"The real maverick was featured in the paper.of record this week - describing the march of distinguished public servants to visit him during his battle with cancer in Arizona...." I doubt drop-out Governor Palin was one of those. McCain's legacy will forever be tied with her name and that disastrous decision in 2008.
Tim Kotowski (Chagrin Falls, Ohio)
Voted for Cordray today and happy to hear he won the nomination. I am a Bernie Sanders supporter but Kucinich went too far when he called a fellow progressive a Republican- an vicious and dirty insult to a man integral in setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And considering his support for Bashar Al-Assad, it is clear his talents laid more in grandstanding than governing. I look forward to having a wise and prudent leader who will check our radical right-wing legislature. Richard Cordray is a progressive who deserves the support of all Ohioans.
Jack Toner (Oakland, CA)
Tie for Kucinich to pack it in. The boy mayor has not turned out well as a man.
DRS (New York)
Hi - Republican here. It's comments like this, where being a member of the other party is to you a "vicious and dirty insult" that is the reason nothing gets done and compromises are never reached. I don't support Trump, but I do support the Republican platform and am a proud conservative. From a policy perspective I probably view you with as much distain as you view me (and I'm happy to strongly express my policy views), but there still has to be common ground on some issues and name calling helps nobody.
J Jencks (Portland, OR)
I'd like to know what is Cordray's plan to win back voters who went from Obama to Trump. In swing states like Ohio DEMs really need to focus on how to expand their "big tent" to cover more of the middle, while making it clear to those under the left side of it that they need to remain committed. Politics, real politics, governance, is about compromise and finding common ground.
Jack Toner (Oakland, CA)
Well I would imagine folks in the middle don't especially like being defrauded by their banks.
gusii (Columbus OH)
Cordray is the sensible one. Renacci is Trumpian. That will be the battle.
Susan Anderson (Boston)
Kucinich is a great guy, but progressives who attack Elizabeth Warren are on a sticky wicket. This is a perfect example of the kind of circular firing squad Bernie Sanders, or at least his more avid followers, are willing to encourage. So tired of the conpiracy theories, the certainty that he would have won when it has been proven otherwise, that somehow it's all the fault of Democrats, not Republicans. Time to wake up and offer support, not condemnation, of people doing the hard work of public service under difficult conditions with real enemies (Republicans in office).
Brooklyncowgirl (USA)
As was stated in the article, Bernie Sanders did not endorse a candidate in this race. If some Sanders supporters also supported Kucinich in his campaign for governor, that is their right. Sanders himself stayed out of it saying he saw good things in both candidates and that is his right. As you said and I agree, "Time to wake up and offer support, not condemnation, of people doing the hard work of public service under difficult conditions with real enemies (Republicans in office)." That should also go for people who supported Hillary Clinton and can't get over blaming Sanders for her defeat in the general election. Fight hard but fair in the primaries then be gracious in both victory and defeat. That, not nagging, not recriminations is the key to party unity.
RAC (auburn me)
Where has it been "proven otherwise" regarding Sanders? It has, however, been proven that Hillary lost in the Midwest. Trashing Bernie Sanders and his supporters won't make that go away. Remember that 45 percent of people who could vote in that election didn't -- and a number of those people told me they couldn't stand either candidate.
P.Law (Nashville)
Your comments is the perfect example of the small but vocal centrist cabal of the Democratic Party who fire on progressives reflexively and try to whip them into voting for people candidates who stand directly opposed to the policies they want. It's not that Mr. Cordray is a bad candidate. Indeed many progressives support him. It's the needless left-punching that shows that the centrists have no real core values or principles about anything, not even about winning. For if it's one thing that establishment Democrats truly know, it's "unelectable." By the by, your assertion that it has been "proven otherwise" that Bernie would have won is a bald falsehood (that cannot be "proven" either way), the duplicitous massaging of perception that has come to replace actual political values among the center-right Democrats, though it's quite hard to imagine anyone else who could have lost to Trump.
Tonjo (Florida)
Does this loss means that Kucinich will disappear or go back to Fox where he belongs. Good riddance.
Dan Stackhouse (NYC)
It is said that Kucinich will vanish into the valleys, in the manner of a dryad, only to return the next time the Cuyahoga river catches fire.
David John (Columbus , Ohio )
The Cuyahoga river hasn't caught fire in 50 years. It's not only cleaner but actually used for recreation at times. Time for provincial New Yorkers to update themselves on what's west of the Hudson and let go of a belittling image that no longer exists.
Tom (Pa)
Kucinich will probably end up working next to Rick Santorum who pops up every once in a while. Perhaps he can help Rick work on his 2020 Presidential campaign.
Patrician (New York)
Yes! Thrilled by the result. Proud member Elizabeth Warren fan club.
Dan Stackhouse (NYC)
Whew, I was a big fan of Kucinich when he was running for president, but that was a long time ago, and I think he is unelectable. A highly intelligent, liberal man, he is nonetheless too short for mainstream America, and now too old as well. Frankly I don't want to vote for anyone older than about 65, ever again. The old boomers have been running the show for a long time now, and not well.
PSS (Maryland)
I’m an old boomer and I agree with you.
Susan Anderson (Boston)
Unfortunately, Elizabeth Warren, my favorite, is 68.
Dan McSweeney (New York)
I'll turn 65 in August, which in the calendar precedes Election Day in November. Drat! OK, that settles it. I'm not going to run for anything.
Tellit (Michigan)
Let's just hope people everywhere wake up by November and vote the morally and financially corrupt GOP politicians out of office. It might even be now or never, given how the GOP suppresses voting rights and steals judgeships all the way to the Supreme Court.
The public has no way of verifying the vote count. That’s undemocratic. The vote-counting process has been outsourced to a handful of private companies that tabulate our votes in secret on proprietary software. Other democracies count their ballots by hand with observers present. How West Virginia Is Trying to Build Hacker-Proof Voting “As West Virginians cast ballots on Tuesday in a primary election, no one can guarantee that outsiders will not disrupt the voting or even alter the results.…it has become clear that any election that relies on computers — that is, all of them — is a potential target for meddlers.” Computer experts have proven over and over electronic voting machines are easily hackable and it can be done with self-deleting code. Computer experts from Princeton, Rice, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, Ohio, and Stanford Universities, the Brennan Center, and the GAO have shown that elections can be hacked, or manipulated by insiders, and it can be done with self-deleting code. How to Rig an Election: “In 2005, the non-partisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by Jimmy Carter and James Baker, stated unequivocally that the greatest threats to secure voting are insiders with direct access to the machines. ‘There is no reason to trust insiders in the election industry any more than in other industries.’” #DemocracyDemandsTransparentVoteCounting
SR (Bronx, NY)
Indeed, proprietary software has become particularly evil of late, not just against the vote but our cars, health, and laws. Had Volkswagen's car software source code been forced to be available to the public for (at minimum) inspection as part of a dangerous motor vehicle that must comply with laws, they couldn't have pulled off one big part of their clean-diesel scam. Had Facebook been required to disclose its website's source code (not the generated "source" for each page, or the user database!) due to FTC settlements and having a generally awful CEO, we could see when they try to pull a C'Analytica. Please don't say "#DemocracyDemandsTransparentVoteCounting"—say "Democracy demands transparent vote counting." We can still speak without having to dignify bigoted Twitter and creepy Facebook with hashery, hard as they try to "fix" that.
Tommy (Texas)
Nice to see Ohio Democrats pick a rock-solid progressive who has a decent chance to win in a state Trump won by 8. We can't be the party where people stay home because they may disagree with the nominee chosen by the primary voters on 5% of the issues, and let someone who they disagree with on 95% of the issues win. Primaries are a great time to hash out disagreements, but after that we need to come together and focus on defeating Trump and the Republicans up and down the ballot, especially with redistricting coming up after the 2020 census and the Supreme Court being on the line.
P.Law (Nashville)
Without specific reference to Cordray here, progressives don't agree with centrist Dems on 95% of the issues, or anything like it. This shows how out-of-touch so many Democrats are. For most, it probably is an honest error to believe this, but it's wrong nonetheless. With centrists like Clinton, Schumer, Pelosi, Feinstein, Kaine, etc. progressives get a little bit of the social justice we favor (and even that is weakly supported and eagerly bartered away), and economic policies we actively oppose, policies that only further mire the people in the corporate-private gluetrap, that do nothing to seriously addresses economic inequality, or oppose the systematic redistribution from the lower classes to the top that has become as much a hallmark of the Democratic Party the last 30 years as the Republican Party. So now you know, and you can put this silly myth away. If you're actually concerned about the growing numbers of rank-and-file Democrats who are refusing to back corporatist Democratic nominees, you should look at your own role in nominating those candidates.
Mike (Little Falls, NY)
"We can't be the party where people stay home because they may disagree with the nominee chosen by the primary voters on 5% of the issues, and let someone who they disagree with on 95% of the issues win." This is exactly the party that the left wing is striving to become. This is the Bernie crowd's vision for the Democratic Party. The good is the enemy of the great. Purity or political death. These are the people that elected Donald Trump, and they aren't done. They won't be done until we lose every winnable election in the country.
Ma (Atl)
Perhaps I misread the article, but I believe the Dem candidate in OH that won was a centrist, not a progressive. It was the progressive that he fended off. The Dem party has lost many voters over the last 15 years because of the progressives and their 'movement.' Long gone are the lively and civil debates where people within a party respect each other, much less between parties. The Reps are no different with their extreme religious right conservative stance. Most of us do NOT agree with either extreme and are sickened by the divisiveness they create. NYTimes - your progressive stance is also putting a nail in the Dem coffin for many, especially when it comes to open borders. 2018 should be the winning moment for Dems, if history means anything. When one party wins the presidency, the next mid-term election is won by the other party.
Conrad (Burlington VT)
This characterization of Kucinich as the far-left candidate, with his ties to Assad, relatively positive words for Trump, and past pro-life beliefs, is inexplicable. I can only assume it comes from a desire to notch a win for centrist Democrats in a race where they did not run a candidate. Progressivism is not inherently populist, nor is it offended by policy wonks, and given this administration's efforts to undermine the youngest darling agency of the left, his candidacy is more important for the finance-skeptical movement than ever. All of this coming from a Sanders campaign volunteer.
joanirpcv (vermont)
Conrad, you lost me :who? what? "the youngest darling agency of the left?"
Jack Toner (Oakland, CA)
Kucinich has his own special brand of weird but he is on the left. Fact is there are a number of leftists who hate liberals so much they'll play footsie with Fox. They regard the ongoing Russia investigation as a return of McCarthyism. They are left. They are also pretty darn stupid.
See also