Editorial: DeWine needs to debate

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 1, 2022

As of today, we are a little more than a month away from Ohio’s general election. Military and overseas absentee voting has started and early, in-person voting starts in less than two weeks.

And, with things getting so close, it is unacceptable that a debate between the candidates for Ohio governor appears to be unlikely.

Democratic nominee Nan Whaley has agreed to multiple debates, whereas incumbent Republican Mike DeWine has not, offering a vague comment of “We’ll see” when asked if he will do so and recently rejected the idea of appearing at forums hosted by the bipartisan Ohio Debate Commission.

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It seems DeWine, who currently leads in the polls, may be attempting to run out the clock and keep any appearances under circumstances dictated by his campaign.

This is an immense disservice to the state’s voters, and there is no excuse for it.

Whatever one’s politics, it is a candidate’s civic duty to treat an election as a job interview and make accessibility and transparency to the public a priority.

Debates and forums, outside of a campaign’s controlled events, are one of the few opportunities the public gets to see a candidate respond to, not just opposition questions, but those of the media and public, in an open format.

If any race in the state necessitates a debate, then surely the position of Ohio’s chief executive is the one. Polls show the majority of Ohioans want debates and DeWine needs to quit dodging them, make the effort to stand by his record in office and agree to one.