Ohio State Government March 7, 2000 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Richard Cordray

Candidate for
United States Senate

This information is provided by the candidate

Richard Cordray

4900 Grove City Road
Grove City, Ohio 43123
(614) 539-1661

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Ohio Key Contact, Gore 2000 campaign. Attorney at Law, currently. Specializing in appellate and constitutional litigation. By special appointment from the U.S. Justice Department, argued Wilson v. Layne, U.S. Sup. Ct. No. 98-83 & Hanlon v. Berger, U.S. Sup. Ct. No. 97-1927 (constitutionality of media ride-alongs with police). Democratic nominee and candidate for Ohio Attorney General, 1998. Ohio State Solicitor, 1993-94. Conducted and supervised all of the State's appellate work in federal and state court and all formal legal opinions for the Ohio Attorney General; argued O'Neal v. McAninch, U.S. Sup. Ct. No. 93-7407 (criminal habeas case); personally handled more than three dozen cases involving important criminal and constitutional issues. Adjunct Professor of Law, The Ohio State University College of Law, 1989-current. Courses in Supreme Court Practice; State Constitutional Law; Separation of Powers; Legislative Process. State Representative, 33rd Ohio House District, 1991-92. Sponsor, Ohio Community Service Education Act; Ohio Uniform Commercial Leasing Act; Ohio Environmental Siting Disclosure Act. Subcommittee Chair on H.B. 536 (first Ohio law making stalking a crime); H.B. 198 (reformed laws on juvenile crime); H.B. 318 (modified death penalty juries); Sponsor, H.B. 225 (promoting undercover sting operations); Sponsor, H.B. 312 (raised penalty for attempted aggravated murder). (All of these bills were enacted into law.) Delegate, Justice Department Federal Corrections Summit (1992); Member, Ohio Community Corrections Advisory Board (1991-1992). Attorney, Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, 1989-1993. General litigation and appellate practice. Law Clerk, Justices Byron R. White and Anthony M. Kennedy, U.S. Supreme Court.

EDUCATION: J.D. with Honors, The University of Chicago Law School (1986). Mecham Scholar (full academic scholarship); Olin Fellow. Order of the Coif. Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. M.A. with First Class Honours in Philosophy, Politics & Economics, Oxford University (1983). George C. Marshall Scholarship. Varsity "Blue" in Basketball, British Champions. B.A. Summa Cum Laude, Michigan State University in Legal & Political Theory (1981). Full academic scholarship. Phi Beta Kappa. Captain, MSU "College Bowl" team, national all-star.

OTHER INFORMATION: Born May 3, 1959 in Columbus; attended public schools. Married to Peggy Cordray, who teaches at Capital University Law School; twins Danny and Holly (born 10/18/98). Advisory Board, Friends of the Homeless; James Madison College Board of Visitors, Mich. State Univ. (currently). Member, Ohio Democratic Party State Executive Committee (16th Senate District; currently); Member, Ohio Democratic Party Task Force for the Future (1995); Democratic nominee for Congress, 15th U.S. House District (1992). "Jeopardy" television program, undefeated five-time champion (1987).

Public Service

As Ohio State Solicitor, Richard Cordray conducted and supervised Ohio's toughest cases in the United States Supreme Court and the Ohio Supreme Court. He personally handled dozens of matters involving important criminal issues, including hate crimes, death penalty appeals, death penalty procedures, federal criminal sentencing procedures, child pornography, child sexual abuse, gun-free schools, drug-free schools, drug forfeitures, drunk driving, and search-and-seizure issues. Richard Cordray also served as the Chair of the National Association of Attorneys General Supreme Court Working Group on Federal Preemption.

As State Representative, Richard Cordray was the principal sponsor of legislation fighting crime, preserving the environment, and protecting children and families. His Community Service Education Act was the first law in Ohio to promote community service education as a way to teach values and responsibility in our schools. His Environmental Siting Disclosure Act ensured more public involvement and input into decisions about locating facilities that are environmental hazards. Richard Cordray also helped pass laws promoting undercover sting operations, improving our ability to deal with juvenile crimes, reforming death penalty juries, and raising the penalty for attempted aggravated murder, as well as the first Ohio law making stalking a crime. He fought for a family leave law in Ohio before Congress ultimately was able to pass federal legislation.

Richard Cordray's record shows that he is tough on crime, tough on bigotry, and tough on protecting children and families. He has the background and experience to stand up for all of us as our next United States Senator from Ohio. Employment

Richard Cordray currently teaches as a law professor at The Ohio State University, as he has done for the past eleven years. His courses have included Legislative Process, State Constitutional Law, the Supreme Court, Separation of Powers, and Modern Judicial Power. He also has taught constitutional law at Georgetown University.

Richard Cordray also practices as an attorney, specializing in constitutional issues. Through a special appointment from the United States Justice Department, he argued two constitutional cases in the United States Supreme Court last year, where he successfully defended federal deputies from the Marshals Service and environmental officials from the Fish & Wildlife Service.

Richard Cordray has also worked as a law clerk for Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy on the United States Supreme Court. In his earlier years, he worked on public policy for the mentally retarded and developmentally disabled, and helped draft the first Ohio law providing respite care for people who provide care for an individual who is mentally retarded or developmentally disabled in their home.

Richard Cordray's first job in government was as an intern for U.S. Senator John Glenn's Washington office, during his junior year in college. In high school, his first job (like so many others these days) was working for minimum wage at McDonald's. Education

Richard Cordray recognizes that opportunity for many young people can only come through a strong education, because that is how he himself got started. He constantly acknowledges that committed parents and several teachers who took a special interest in him have made all the difference in his own life.

Richard Cordray was awarded his law degree with honors from the University of Chicago Law School in 1986, which he attended on a full tuition scholarship. He also had the honor of serving as the Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.

Richard Cordray received his master's degree from Oxford University in England in 1983. He was one of the few students to earn First Class Honours in his field of Philosphy, Politics & Economics. He attended Oxford on a George C. Marshall Scholarship from the British government, and enjoyed playing on the basketball team, which won the British Universities championship in his last year and traveled widely to participate in tournaments from Ireland to Egypt.

Richard Cordray did his undergraduate work in James Madison College at Michigan State University, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1981. He was Phi Beta Kappa and majored in what was called "Justice, Morality, and Constitutional Democracy." He attended college on a full academic scholarship, and was captain and a national all-star in the quiz game "College Bowl." Personal Background

Richard Cordray is married, and his wife Peggy teaches at the Capital University Law School. They have a twin son and daughter (Danny and Holly), who were born on October 18, 1998 -- on Peggy's birthday in the home stretch of the statewide campaigns!

Richard Cordray was born May 3, 1959 in Columbus, Ohio. He attended public schools in Grove City, was co-valedictorian of his high school class, and served as Chaplain for the Grove City chapter of DeMolay. He is the middle child of brothers Frank and Jim.

Richard Cordray's father, Frank Sr., now retired, was the program director for the mentally retarded residents at Orient Developmental Center, where he worked for 43 years. Richard's mother, Ruth, who died in 1980, was a social worker and teacher who founded the first foster grandparent program for the mentally retarded in Ohio.

Richard Cordray serves on the Advisory Board for the Friends of the Homeless, which provides transitional housing and services to the homeless, and past Chair of the Hilltop YMCA Advisory Board. He was selected as one of the Olympic torchbearers on the road to the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, and carried the torch through downtown Findlay.

Richard Cordray was an undefeated five-time champion on the "Jeopardy!" television program in 1987 and a semifinalist in the Tournament of Champions, winning $45,303. Political Experience

Richard Cordray is a tried-and-true Democrat. Over the years, he has been elected to office with the Democratic endorsement, has been defeated for office with the Democratic endorsement, and has been a Democratic appointee to office. He was married in 1992 while serving as a Democrat in the State House, and his children were born during his campaign for Attorney General on the Democratic statewide ticket in 1998.

Richard Cordray was the Democratic candidate for Ohio Attorney General in 1998. He began in politics by defeating a twelve-year Republican incumbent to win a seat in the Ohio House, serving under Speaker Vern Riffe. He has been named a key contact in Ohio for Gore2000, and was chosen as part of Al Gore's select group known as Leadership '98. He is an elected member of the Ohio Democratic Party State Executive Committee.

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