Former Vice President Joe Biden has thrown his support behind some of Ohio’s Democratic candidates ahead of the 2018 election.
Biden announced on Tuesday that he’s endorsing Richard Cordray for Ohio governor, after the former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director won the Democratic primary on May 8. Biden says Cordray is “smart, principled, pragmatic, and a fighter.”
Biden touted Cordray’s work at the CFPB, where he was appointed by President Barack Obama. Biden says former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, Cordray's running mate who served as Obama's administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, has spent her career "standing up for working families."
It was not immediately clear whether Biden planned to campaign for Cordray heading into November's election.
Cordray and Sutton face a Republican ticket of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and running mate Jon Husted, Ohio's Secretary of State, in a race that’s being closely watched around the nation.
Biden also endorsed Ken Harbaugh, the Democratic challenger for Ohio’s 7th Congressional District. He’s facing three-term incumbent Republican Bob Gibbs in the Northeast Ohio district.
Harbaugh is a former Navy pilot who headed a nonprofit that sends emergency response teams of veterans to disasters around the world. In his endorsement, Biden praised the work, calling Harbaugh “a fighter with a history of standing with people on their hardest days.”
Harbaugh easily won his Democratic primary last week in a campaign that included claims that Republicans spent money to try to boost the profile of his underfunded Democratic challenger, Patrick Pikus. Congressman Gibbs easily beat two opponents in the Republican primary.
Last month’s campaign filings showed Harbaugh raised nearly $1.2 million – nearly twice what Gibbs raised. But Gibbs has nearly twice as much cash on hand.
The district stretches from up near Lake Erie, southwest past Mount Vernon and back northeast through Canton. Sabato's Crystal Ball lists the district at "leans Republican." But Harbaugh has been holding a series of "Country Over Party" town halls, including one next week in Dover.