Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in town to stand w - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in town to stand with labor leaders

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A large amount of taxpayer dollars that went to ECOT instead of public schools around Ohio has caught the attention of Betty Sutton, a candidate for Ohio's Lieutenant Governor.

$591-million went to ECOT instead of school districts in Ohio, including $24-million that was meant for schools in the Mahoning Valley.

Sutton questions why those already in office are not doing more to protect public schools.

In a one-on-one interview with 21 News, Sutton says the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow or ECOT, and the scandal it's left behind is another example of a for-profit charter school not putting children and education first.

"A billion dollars shifted away for the traditional public schools for this ECOT School that Mike DeWine and Jon Husted turned a blind eye to as millions of dollars went missing," Sutton said.

Sutton says along with Democratic candidate for governor Richard Cordray they plan to find a way to fix Ohio's decades-old school funding problem.

While in town, labor leaders stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Sutton at the Iron Workers Local 207 hall on Bev Road in Boardman holding a news conference to show their support for the Cordray/Sutton ticket.

The Western Reserve Building Trades endorsed Democrats Richard Cordray and Betty Sutton for the governor's office.

Sutton traveled to town wanting her main focus to be on why opponent Mike DeWine is dodging questions on the "right to work" issue that she says would unfairly strip away rights that protect workers.

"Mike DeWine completely dodged the question on right to work.  He gave a sort of a non-answer.  He didn't commit either way.  He said it wasn't on his agenda.  Which is exactly the kind of thing that other governors said when they were candidates, and then what they did when they got into office was support those right to work laws that undercut workers," Sutton told 21 News.

Republican candidate Mike DeWine's camp responds by saying right to work is not a part of his campaign or his administration's agenda.  And as far as ECOT, DeWine's campaign says, 

"Mike DeWine is the only candidate for governor who has done anything to hold ECOT accountable.  Mike DeWine's special counsel has spent the last two years in court fighting to impose accountability on ECOT.  ECOT has tried to throw legal roadblocks at every turn, but he has won every single time."

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