Nan Whaley Announces Bid for Ohio Governor, Vows to Bring "Dayton Toughness" to Columbus

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley announced Monday that she will once again run for Governor of Ohio in 2022.

Apr 19, 2021 at 10:32 am

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley announced Monday that she will once again run for Governor of Ohio in 2022. In a video launching her campaign, she said she would bring the toughness of Dayton to Columbus, which she said has been controlled by corrupt politicians for far too long.

“The people of Ohio deserve better," she said in the press release announcing her candidacy. "The same politicians have been in charge for 30 years as Ohioans have fallen further behind. It’s time for a change. We deserve an Ohio where one job is enough to provide for your family. An Ohio where your kids have real opportunities. An Ohio where everyone, no matter your zip code, can thrive. I’m running for governor because it’s time Ohioans had a government — and a governor — who works for us, not for themselves.”

Whaley has been Mayor of Dayton, Ohio's sixth largest city, since 2013. She made headlines there for dramatically reducing opioid deaths and for establishing free preschool education for all four-year-olds, after residents passed a tax increase for the purpose. Dayton's opioid response figured prominently in Whaley's 2018 campaign for Governor, before she dropped out and supported Richard Cordray. 

Whaley is the first Democrat to declare publicly for the 2022 race. It is likely that incumbent Governor Mike DeWine will face a stiff primary challenge from the right as well, from candidates representing the contingent of Republicans who viewed his coronavirus health orders as the dawn of a socialist dictatorship.

In Whaley's announcement video, above, she played images of DeWine's appearance in Dayton after the 2019 mass shooting, after which citizens chanted at DeWine to "do something" about gun violence. (He never did.) She also showed images of State Rep. Larry Householder, who is accused of executing, on FirstEnergy's behalf, a $60 million scheme to secure the passage of House Bill 6, the so-called "nuclear bailout bill" which was only overturned by the legislature last month. Householder, miraculously, has not been removed from office.

Whaley presents herself in contrast to these leaders. She said she is someone with "steel in her spine" who will be unafraid to do something, to stand up for Ohioans against the lobbyists who have dictated policy across the state for decades.

This story was originally published by CityBeat sister paper the Cleveland Scene and republished here with permission