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Former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley wins nomination for Ohio Democratic Governor

Former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said she's ready to take on incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine and bring Ohio back from decades of Republican neglect and corruption.
Desmond Winton-Finklea
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WYSO
Former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said she's ready to take on incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine and bring Ohio back from decades of Republican neglect and corruption.

On Tuesday, former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley won the Democratic nominee for Ohio Governor along with her Lt. Gov. running mate Cheryl Stephens — a Cuyahoga County Council member.

Whaley was running against former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. Cranley conceded his primary race for governor shortly after the race was called for Whaley. In a statement, he congratulated Whaley and said she now has the momentum to win the governor's seat in November.

“We need to unify as Democrats. I know Nan Whaley well and she is a very good person,” Cranley said. “She will make a great governor, and Teresa [Fedor] and I will join Senator Sherrod Brown in working very hard to elect her.”

Unofficial results show Whaley got 65% of the Democratic vote out of half a million Democratic ballots casted.

During a speech among a crowd of campaign staffers and supporters at the Montgomery County Democratic Party headquarters, Whaley said she’s ready to get to work. She added that for decades establishment Ohio leaders have done little to benefit the working class in the state.

“Ohio isn't a red state or a blue state. It's a frustrated state that has been ignored by politicians from both parties for far too long,” Whaley said. “The fact of the matter is that Mike DeWine is out of touch, corrupt and doesn't care about you.”

She said she’s running on the promise to bring Ohio back from decades of Republican neglect and corruption and condemned Gov. DeWine’s attitudes on gun control, abortion rights and tax reform.

She acknowledged Republicans are still likely to have a supermajority in the state legislature if she’s elected governor in November. But she said that just means there’s work to be done to create fair districts that can get the state's politics in line with what regular voters want.

“We’re likely going to redraw [districts] in four years. So it would be nice to have a governor that actually follows the law and creates fair districts for our state legislature,” Whaley said. “ The stuff that we’re seeing out of the Statehouse makes no sense at all. And the governor’s seat is a step in making sure that common sense government happens in Ohio.”

Whaley is now the first woman to hold a major political party ticket for the Ohio’s Governor office. She will face incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine in the November elections.

Alejandro Figueroa is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.