COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — There are six weeks until the midterm election, which will decide key statewide seats like who will serve as Ohio’s attorney general.
Republican Attorney General Dave Yost is facing challenger Rep. Jeff Crossman (D-Parma). There are several issues important to both of them, plus issues that are top of mind for Ohioans.
“This year is going to be a lot about abortion,” Crossman said. “I think it would be helpful to have an attorney general who’s actually going to follow the process and make sure the issue gets on the ballot.”
Crossman said we are starting to see the real implications of the heartbeat law and thinks the Hamilton County case shows why it shouldn’t exist.
“If Kansas is a pro-choice state, Ohio certainly is,” Crossman said. “And I think a majority of people in Ohio believe that abortion needs to be legal so women can get the healthcare they need.”
Yost said he is confident that the Constitution does not protect abortion. However, Ohioans and lawmakers are calling on Yost to apologize for doubting the story of a ten-year-old rape victim.
“What is it that I should apologize for,” Yost asked. “Did I doubt the story of a rape victim, or did I question to news media?
NBC4’s Natalie Fahmy pointed out Fox News comments, where he said, “This young girl, if she exists, and if this horrible thing actually happened, it breaks my heart to think about.”
“That was on a Monday, after 10 days or so since the story had broken. There were no charges,” Yost said. “I’m not going to apologize for the truth, Natalie, and you shouldn’t ask me to.”
Yost said one of his top priorities is to enforce the rule of law. He said that’s why he is part of a Title IX lawsuit against the Biden Administration.
“I would dismiss the lawsuit that Yost participated in going after the LGBTQ students in schools and their lunches,” Crossman said. “I think that’s disgusting and despicable and a waste of Ohio tax dollars.”
Yost said adding LGBTQ+ protections undermines the idea of Title IX, which, he said, is to make sure we have equal opportunities for women in sports and education.
“When you’re talking about access to women’s sports, you end up having people who have an XY chromosome, larger body mass, more upper body strength, competing with biological women who have two X chromosomes,” Yost said. “I’m not for that, it undermines the whole idea of Title IX.”
When the Ohio Board of Education heard testimony about a resolution, denying Title IX protections for LGBTQ students, Yost’s team said, “We are not on the school board and have no vote.”
“No one should be subject to a denial of employment or lodging, public facilities, no matter who they are or the people they choose to be with,” he said. “That being said, Title IX is designed to make sure we have equal opportunity for sports and other educational opportunities for women.”
“How does one say we are going to protect women if we don’t know what women is? The problem with this is that we have new questions that are up to Congress to answer,” Yost said.
Both candidates said they support Ohio law enforcement. Yost said, if re-elected, among his top priorities would be creating a yearly training program for law enforcement, adding that it all comes down to the support they have.
“We need to have leadership that understands public safety and allows the police to do their job,” Yost said.
Yost also said his effort to stop sex traffickers and his duty to “enforce the rule of law” would also be top priorities for his next term.
Crossman said crime reduction is important, and there are two ways to approach that.
“We have to give people opportunities to get out and get jobs, good paying jobs, so they don’t turn to a life of crime, and we have to get guns out of the hands of criminals,” Crossman said. “Just allowing guns anywhere makes the jobs of police much more dangerous and difficult. I do support the police community, I think they’re doing a good job, I think they need to be supported.”
A top priority for Crossman will be “cleaning up corruption,” he said. “We don’t have accountability in Ohio.”
Register to vote here. The deadline to register is Oct. 11, with the election on Nov. 8