Two important races will play out in Ohio this fall as a new Governor will be named and a crucial Senate seat will be contested. Credit: Lantern file photo

The 2018 midterm elections are being pegged as a crucial turning point by everyone along the political spectrum.

There are two races you can expect to hear a lot about on campus this fall: the gubernatorial race between current Attorney General Mike DeWine and Rich Cordray to be Ohio’s next governor and the Senate race between Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Jim Renacci.

Senate race

Republican Renacci will look to unseat long-serving and popular Democrat Sherrod Brown in a year where extra attention is being paid to Senate races as important votes in the chamber continue to play a crucial role in defining President Donald Trump’s tenure.

Brown, who has built a reputation over the years fighting for workers’ rights, said college students should be tuned in to this race for its impacts on their wallet and their job prospects.

“College affordability and job opportunities for Ohio students are on the ballot this year. That’s why students from across Ohio are stepping up and making sure their voices are heard in this election,” Brown said via email. “I encourage students to not only make sure you’re registered to vote, but also to find a way to get involved — whether that means interning with a campaign, or volunteering to knock doors or register voters.”

The Renacci campaign also sees the job market as an important factor for college students when casting their votes this fall, but believe the conservative platform Renacci favors is better suited to deliver an advantageous job market to college students.

“That is the most important thing any college student should be looking at, is the job market and trying to figure out who has the best plan to help create better, higher-paying jobs for when they graduate from college,” said Leslie Shedd, a senior communications advisor for Renacci’s campaign. “What college students need more than anything is a really great job market so that they can have opportunities to pick and choose from jobs that they like, jobs that they’re interested in and more importantly jobs they can grow and thrive in and create a career for themselves.”

Governor race

Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Rich Cordray will fight for Ohio’s No. 1 government position: governor, as John Kasich’s two terms come to an end.

DeWine, whose campaign was contacted for this article but had not responded at time of publishing, is seen as a natural successor to Kasich’s brand of conservatism after serving under him as Attorney General.

On the other hand, Rich Cordray is considered a star in the Democratic Party, spending the last five years serving as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau before coming back to Ohio to run for Governor.

Cordray said inclusiveness is important for the future of Ohio, laying out the differences in social policies between he and DeWine, reflecting the larger differences between their two parties.

“As Governor, I’ll resist attempts to turn back the clock in Ohio and I’ll work to make us a more open, inclusive and welcoming state. Efforts to take away fundamental rights like marriage equality and reproductive choice are supported by my opponent Mike DeWine and will make it harder for us to attract new businesses and good paying jobs, keep our college graduates in Ohio to work and start families and create a prosperous Ohio,” Cordray said in an email. “To keep Ohio moving forward, we must embrace the talents of all Ohioans — not divide people by gender, race, and sexual orientation.”

Cordray also touted his record of taking on bad financial practices and how this will benefit students facing the costly expenses of college.

“Ohio’s future, and the future of our young people, also depends on us being a state that works for all of its people — not just the powerful interests, the Wall Street banks and the wealthy,” he said. “As the nation’s top consumer protection watchdog, I took on predatory lenders and for-profit colleges when they scammed college students, and as Governor, I’ll work to ensure that a quality, affordable education is within reach of all families in our state.”

Voting on campus

The option to vote absentee via mail in their home district is always available to students, but for the chance to vote in local elections impacting campus, they’ll want to make sure they’re registered to vote on campus.

Students looking to register for the first time or change their address to vote on campus can either use the new online system for Ohio found here, go to the local elections office or look for one of the many “clipboarders” that pop-up on campus during elections season.