Ohio’s Statewide Candidates: How they Compare

The statewide portion of the scorecard is the only section where we place candidates’ records on LGBTQ issues head to head to show what often are major differences in their approached to lived and legal equality. You may notice that some statewide candidates, like State Auditor and State Treasurer, do not appear in our scorecard. While these positions are vitally important to the functioning of our state government, we did not evaluate candidates for these offices because the influence that they have on LGBTQ policy is minimal and often indirect.

The Ohio gubernatorial race has drawn national attention. And for good reason. We need a governor who will work with the legislature to protect Ohio’s LGBTQ community while also making it unequivicollay clear that harmful bills, like HB 658, will be rejected.

The candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor have made it clear to the people of Ohio where they stand on LGBTQ-related issues. Mike DeWine has spent his career opposing LGBTQ-friendly policy and has said that he will continue to do so from the governor’s mansion, earning him an F. His running mate, Jon Husted, hasn’t done much better, earning a D.

Richard Cordray and his running mate, Betty Sutton, have both earned As on our scorecard, with both indicating that they will work with the Ohio Legislature to create nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Ohioans, allow transgender Ohioans to correct the gender marker on their birth certificate, and ban conversion therapy. As Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mr. Cordray fought for equal credit opportunities for LGBTQ people, and in all three of her terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Ms. Sutton earned scores of over 95% on the Human Rights Campaign’s biannual scorecard.

Equality Ohio has a long history of working with both candidates for Secretary of State for Ohio, Frank LaRose and Kathleen Clyde. Both candidates have shown support for the LGBTQ community in their career. Mr. LaRose earned a B. Ms. Clyde earned an A.

Steve Dettelbach and David Yost are running to replace Mike DeWine as Attorney General. Mr. Dettelbach has regularly appeared at events in support of marriage equality, and as a federal prosecutor, he developed a Civil Rights Task Force the prosecuted hate crimes against LGBTQ-identifying individuals, earning him an A. Mr. Yost has been almost entirely silent on LGBTQ issues, making it impossible to award him anything other than a C.

The Libertarian and Green Parties have candidates in some statewide races. These two parties in particular have advocated for LGBTQ people in Ohio and nationwide for decades, but because no specific third-party candidate has a record of public service for or against LGBTQ-related policy, we were unable to award them a grade. We encourage you to research these candidates and make the decision that you think is best for LGBTQ Ohioans.

Ohioans have important decisions to make this election season. Those choices will affect LGBTQ policy in our state for years to come, and we encourage you to use this scorecard to help you make those decisions.