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Pillich Drops Out Of Democratic Primary, Endorses Cordray

Connie Pillich (left) has ended her bid to become governor and endorsed and Richard Cordray.
Dan Konik
Ohio Public Radio
Connie Pillich (left) has ended her bid to become governor and endorsed and Richard Cordray.

The only woman running for the Democratic nomination for governor has dropped out of the race. She’s throwing her support to a man she’d once criticized, but who many consider to be the frontrunner in the party’s primary.

When Richard Cordray quit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last year to run for governor, Connie Pillich was critical, saying he was abandoning an important role to enter an already crowded race. Pillich, who had some labor endorsements, was far behind in fundraising. She says this is not the time for her to continue.

“Democrats have got to come together," Pillich says. "We’ve got to put aside our differences and we have to unite.”

Pillich had chosen Scott Schertzer, the mayor of Marion and president of the Ohio Municipal League, as her lieutenant governor pick.

At the end of January, Pillich claimed just over $911,000 in her campaign account, behind Cordray and every Republican candidate. Only state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, who remains in the race, had raised less.

Cordray, whose running mate is former opponent and Rep. Betty Sutton, says women will play a key role in his administration.

“There will be strong women in positions of important leadership and building and earning that record and visibility so they will be our political leaders of the future,” Cordray says.

Four of the remaining seven Democrats who have filed for governor have enlisted women to serve as their lieutenant governors.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.