Former President Obama speaking at Ohio gubernatorial campaign Thursday night

CLEVELAND – Former President Barack Obama campaigned for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray on Cleveland’s east side Thursday night.

The campaign rally for Democratic candidates was held at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District East Professional Center and began at 7 p.m.

President Obama stepped back into the political spotlight for the first time since leaving office in an attempt to boost voter turnout to help Democrats in close midterm races.

Cordray is reentering Ohio politics after leading the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under Obama.

“It reminds voters of issues on which perhaps Mr. Cordray has an advantage,” said Case Western Reserve University Political Science Professor Joe White. "It excites the Democrats, it is an attempt to remind those Democrats who particularly like President Obama that they should turn out in this election.”

Cordray is in a close race against Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine, who has the endorsement of President Trump.

“It's very hard to predict what's going to happen in the election. This is a state that leans Republican, but it's an election that leans Democratic,” White said.

Continuing coverage, here.