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Ohio Democrats blast Republican Mike DeWine for being 'weak' on policies and special interests

 Liz Walters, Ohio Democratic Party chair, with candidates for statewide office outside the Ohio Statehouse in April 2022.
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
Liz Walters, Ohio Democratic Party chair, with candidates for statewide office outside the Ohio Statehouse in April 2022.

Democrats said the Republicans, who control all of Ohio's elected executive offices, cannot be trusted to do what’s best for Ohioans.

Ohio Democratic Party Chair Liz Walters said Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, has shown he is “weak” and beholden to special interest groups that drive much of the state's policy.

"On issues ranging from abortion rights to gun violence to redistricting and to the largest public corruption scandal in state history, Mike DeWine's weakness is costing Ohioans big time and taking our state backward," Walters said.

Walters said Ohioans are paying $287,000 every day because of the nuclear bailout DeWine signed into law in 2019. Since that time, federal charges have been filed against five people, including the former head of the Ohio Republican Party and the former speaker of the Ohio House. DeWine has not been charged in connection with that case and parts of the law have since been repealed.

The Democrats said the bottom line is DeWine cannot be trusted to do what is right for Ohioans. And though DeWine is touting new jobs and an improved business climate in his ads for re-election, Walters said he’s trying to take credit for new planned economic development in Ohio from Intel and other companies that is happening because of someone else.

“But for the federal government that is under Democratic leadership, none of these things would happen," Walters said.

Ohio Republican Party spokesman Dan Lusheck fired back at Walters in a written response.

"Nan Whaley oversaw a corrupt city council and was investigated by the FBI for taking bribes," Lusheck said.

Whaley has denied those claims, explaining she answered questions asked by the FBI but was never charged. She has noted the case has since been closed though charges were brought against some others, including Dayton's city commissioner at that time. Whaley has also introduced a four-point plan that she said would "root out corruption in Ohio government."

Lusheck also said Whaley was responsible for Dayton when it had a higher than average poverty rate and was experiencing a high crime rate.

Many of the issues brought up by both parties could be addressed in a gubernatorial debate. However, DeWine, who is leading Whaley in recent polling, often times by double digits, is refusing to debate her. Whaley has responded by calling DeWine "a coward" who is afraid to answer questions about his record.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.