Sen. Elizabeth Warren joins Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cordray for campaign rally

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren campaigned in Ohio Friday with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray ahead of the state’s May primary. The progressive leader rallied a group of voters near Ohio State’s campus to support the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (WSYX/WTTE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren campaigned in Ohio Friday with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray ahead of the state’s May primary. The progressive leader rallied a group of voters near Ohio State’s campus to support the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

There was a line outside the Newport Music Hall more than an hour before the event was scheduled to begin.

“We want to see what the differences are between the candidates,” said Troy Anthony Harris, one of the people waiting in line. “We have two very strong progressive candidates with Richard Cordray and Dennis Kucinich. I know that (Cordray) has a lot of values and progressive policies that us Democrats in Ohio are fighting for and of course it’s all about seeing Elizabeth Warren.”

Warren has become a hero to progressives.

“Rich is the kind of fighter I love,” she said on stage. “He is a fearless fighter.”

Warren came up with the idea for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau before she entered the Senate. Cordray was the first person put in charge of it. He led it for the last six years.

“He fearlessly fought the bullies that devastated Ohio’s families (during the economic recession),” she said.

Cordray has been trying to distance himself in a crowded Democratic field for governor.

“We can deliver equality and tolerance and inclusiveness and diversity of our communities,” Cordray said after being introduced by Warren.

Cedarville history and politics professor Marc Clauson said Warren can help Cordray win the Democratic nomination but might not help as much in the General Election.

“You’re not going to see her in the General Election,” Clauson said. “He’s got to try to get votes down the center if he wins the primary.”

The rally was another sign the campaigns for 2018 are in full swing.

“When we change Ohio in 2018, that’s the first step to changing America in 2020,” Cordray said. “You can do it.”

Cordray, his running mate Betty Sutton and Warren made two campaign stops Friday. They had a rally in Cincinnati before coming to Columbus. The former federal consumer watchdog announced his candidacy in December and joined forces with Sutton, a former congresswoman and Obama-era official, in January.

Cordray has been locked into a tight race with former Congressman Dennis Kucinich for the Democratic nomination. Attorney General Mike DeWine has led Lt. Governor Mary Taylor in the Republican gubernatorial polls but Taylor’s campaign said more recent polls show DeWine’s lead has started to shrink.

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