Democratic firebrand Dennis Kucinich was in Columbus on Monday, urging voters to the polls for a Tuesday governor's primary that has taken on a national profile.
The former Cleveland mayor, congressman and presidential candidate was joined on East Main Street by his running mate, Akron City Councilwoman Tara Samples, actor Danny Glover and former Ohio Sen. Nina Turner of Cleveland.
The campaign "is a choice that Democrats have not had in Ohio for many a year," Kucinich said in a rollicking speech to a crowd of about 30. In the cadences of a preacher, he ticked through his promises to end fracking in Ohio, ban assault weapons, provide access to free college and health care for all.
"In 24 hours we're finally going to have a chance to advance a Democratic ticket that people can believe in," Kucinich said.
On Monday and in interviews during the campaign, Kucinich hasn't specified how he'd fund those priorities other than to say say he'd repeal a state tax break, increase fracking fees and eliminate waste, fraud and abuse from state government.
But Turner, a former surrogate to Bernie Sanders, said that it's Kucinich's vision that counts. Some political observers have said that Richard Cordray, one of Kucinich's opponents in the primary, has a better chance of winning the general election. Turner rejected that.
"We don't need leaders that tell us we need pragmatists and not visionaries. I'll take a visionary over a pragmatist any day," she said.
"We can't get sidetracked by the naysayers. If they're OK with practicality, let them have practical I'll take visionary any day and that is what you have in the Kucinich-Samples ticket — visionaries."
Glover, who has campaigned with Kucinich in previous races, told the crowd that the Ohio Democratic governor's primary will have implications far beyond the state.
"Imagine, what you do tomorrow ripples out across this country, how that changes everything," he said. "Being here, I'm on the right side of history."
One member of the crowd said Kucinich brought him into the voting fold.
"I'm a first-time voter," said David White, 38. Kucinich is "very left, but he's open to other beliefs. He's a listener."
In addition to Cordray, former director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Ohio Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill, Larry Ealy and Paul Ray are seeking the Democratic nomination.
Cordray is planning a 7 p.m. event at 4150 E. Main St. in Columbus, and Schiavoni planned three election-eve events in Fremont, Avon Lake and Rocky River. O'Neill on Saturday said he had finished with his speaking engagements.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor are running for the Republican nod.