Mike DeWine Retains Ohio Governor Seat, Defeating Challenger Nan Whaley

As of 9:15 p.m., DeWine has more than 1,100,000 votes, with 41% of the votes in.

click to enlarge Mike DeWine remains Ohio's governor with wife Fran DeWine by his side. - Photo: twitter.com/mikedewine
Photo: twitter.com/mikedewine
Mike DeWine remains Ohio's governor with wife Fran DeWine by his side.


Early poll numbers indicate Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has been re-elected to the governorship, defeating challenger Nan Whaley, according to data from the New York Times. As of 9:15 p.m., DeWine has more than 1,100,000 votes  and Whaley has more than 775,000, with 41% of the votes in. Results are preliminary until certified in about two weeks.

DeWine, a Republican, 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.

Whaley, a Democrat, 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 was Cheryl Stephens, a council member from Cuyahoga County. "This is obviously not the result we were hoping for," Whaley said to a crowd of supporters in Dayton. "Even when we don't get the outcome we hoped for, it's vital that we respect our democracy. Tonight we can mourn this loss, but tomorrow we get back to work. I still believe our citizens deserve better than what they're getting."

This year’s midterm elections followed a weird special election that was required after the state refused to draw new voting maps. A Republican-led commission redrew the boundaries of Ohio's House districts earlier this year in an ongoing, dramatic redistricting battle. Many of the ensuing boundary maps repeatedly were rejected by the Ohio Supreme Court as being unconstitutional for unfairly favoring Republicans.

Though the Ohio Supreme Court deemed the maps unconstitutional, a federal court eventually declared that Ohio must use them for August's special election and the Nov. 8 midterms due to timing, but the state is required to pass fairer maps before the 2024 election. However, the ramifications of voting within the current redrawn – and, many say, unfair – boundaries in districts throughout the state will affect elections and priorities for years to come.

All Ohio election results are preliminary until certified by the Board of Elections. CityBeat uses polling numbers that have been reported first-hand by the Associated Press, which is standard for most newsrooms. For more election results and information, visit Ohio's secretary of state website.
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