MARTINS FERRY, Ohio (AP) — Democratic candidates for Ohio governor are holding the first in a series of statewide debates aimed at raising the party’s visibility and appeal as it tries to take back the seat from Republicans next year.
Contenders set to square off in a town hall style forum at Martins Ferry High School Tuesday are former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, former state Rep. Connie Pillich and state Sen. Joe Schiavoni.
The event is sponsored by the Ohio Democratic Party, which is not taking sides in the primary. Janetta King, a top policy adviser to former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, will moderate.
Candidates will field questions from a live audience and from Facebook and Twitter.
They’re competing for a chance to succeed Republican Gov. John Kasich, who’s term-limited.