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Mike DeWine and J.D. Vance decline to debate opponents

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announces a law suit against five major drug companies.
Karen Kasler
Ohio Public Radio

The Republican candidates for Ohio governor and the U.S. Senate will not participate in the Ohio Debate Commission’s (ODC) general election debates.

Months after invitations were sent out, Governor Mike DeWine and Republican U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance missed the deadline to agree to debate their opponents.

Both Democratic nominees—former Dayton mayor Nan Whaley who is running for governor and Rep. Tim Ryan who is running for U.S. Senate—accepted the commission's debates.

In a statement released by the ODC, Board President Dan Moulthrop said the organization is disappointed.

"We work hard with our partners and funders to convene debates that would serve campaigns, serve voters, and strengthen democracy. Yet this election year has been plagued with candidates from both parties who prize their campaign consultants' input over voters' information needs," Moulthrop said.

"When 84% of Ohioans are saying they want debates and campaigns refuse a good faith offer from a statewide organization, democracy is paying the price,” he said.

The ODC does not plan to hold any events with single candidates this election cycle.