Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine won his bid Tuesday night to be Ohio governor over Democrat Richard Cordray in a race that became closer as Election Day approached.
With 98 percent of precincts reporting, DeWine had gained 50.9 percent of the vote, compared to Cordray’s 46.2 percent.
The 71-year-old DeWine, a former lieutenant governor, congressman and senator, ran on a conservative platform, including his staunch opposition to abortion and increased funding for foster care, preschool, and mental health services in schools. He was tapped to succeed Republican Governor John Kasich, who is term-limited.
Cordray, 59, ran on a progressive platform of abortion rights, legalizing marijuana, reforming the criminal justice system, and keeping Obamacare.
The Democrat’s one-time boss, former President Barack Obama, campaigned for his former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
“Rich is somebody who has always been committed to solving problems” Obama said at a September rally in Ohio. “We think that if you’re a kind person you might not be a tough person. I don’t know why we can’t celebrate both.”
Ohio has had a Republican governor for 24 of the last 28 years.