DeWine Wins Primary Again, Will Face Nan Whaley in Ohio's Race for Governor This November

The incumbent governor and the former Dayton mayor will duke it out later this year.

click to enlarge Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will face former Dayton mayor Nan Whaley in a bid for the governor seat.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will face former Dayton mayor Nan Whaley in a bid for the governor seat.

Ohio's current governor is one step closer to retaining his position, but he'll have to face a challenger first.


Mike DeWine is projected to win the Republican primary for governor for the second time, according to uncertified election results from Ohio's May 3 primary election. As of 9:45 p.m. Tuesday night, DeWine has more than 334,500 votes – or nearly 48% – with 55% of Ohio's precincts reporting. Multiple national media outlets have called the race for DeWine.

DeWine's closest opponent was Jim Renacci, a former U.S. Representative for Ohio's 16th district and chairman of the Medina County GOP. As of press time, Renacci has received nearly 194,300 votes, or over 27%. DeWine also defeated Joe Blystone, a cattle farmer who last week posted a photo of himself posing with a sign depicting syringes arranged as a swastika. Blystone has nearly 163,900, or over 23% of the vote as of press time. Both Renacci and Blystone were considered to be far-right candidates with views and promises similar to those of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Ohio's sitting governor, DeWine began his first term in 2019 after serving in Ohio's statehouse, as a U.S. senator and as a lieutenant governor. The Yellow Springs native earned praise from medical experts in 2020 for Ohio's COVID-19 public health protocols – including venue capacity limits, stay-at-home orders and indoor masking – but got scorn from many far-right Republicans who rallied against coronavirus vaccines and other safety measures.

Former Ohio secretary of state Jon Husted is the incumbent lieutenant governor and will be on the ballot with DeWine again in November.


Nan Whaley is projected to win the Democratic nomination in the May 3 primary election. As of 9:45 p.m. and with 33% of precincts reporting, Whaley has nearly 216,100 votes. That's good for nearly 66% of ballots cast. Multiple outlets have called the race for Whaley.

Whaley is the former mayor of Dayton who served from 2014 until the beginning of this year. Her leadership has been cited as a major reason Dayton's unemployment numbers declined significantly and was in office when the city was just the fourth in the nation to sue pharmaceutical companies and others over the opiate addiction in Ohio. She has been a vocal advocate for gun safety legislation, abortion rights and banning LGBTQ+ conversion methods.

Her running mate for lieutenant governor is Cheryl Stephens, a council member from Cuyahoga County.

Whaley defeated former Cincinnati mayor John Cranley, whose platform shared many of Whaley's principles. Cranley served as Cincinnati's mayor for two terms, with focuses on gun control, infrastructure improvements and criminal justice reform. He has nearly 83,000, or 34%, of the votes as of press time.

All results are preliminary until certified. As the presumed party winners, DeWine/Husted and Whaley/Stephens will face off in the general election on Nov. 8. The winner will be sworn in on Jan. 9. For election results and information, visit Ohio's secretary of state website.

Stay connected with CityBeat. Subscribe to our newsletters, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google News, Apple News and Reddit.

Send CityBeat a news or story tip or submit a calendar event.

Scroll to read more Ohio News articles


Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.