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Nan Whaley's the 'Debate Ohio Deserves Tour' comes to Dayton

Nan Whaley speaking to supporters Thursday night..jpg
Garrett Reese
Nan Whaley speaking to supporters Thursday night.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Whaley held a forum in Dayton Thursday night as part of her the Debate Ohio Deserves Tour. The Tour is a response to Governor Mike DeWine turning down debate invitations.

The Tour stopped off at the Communications Workers of America union hall in Dayton. On-stage, there are two podiums – one for Whaley and one for the absent Gov. DeWine.

Whaley spent the evening taking questions from curated comments from emails and from her audience.

On the issue of gun violence, Whaley brought up how personal this issue was for her. Whaley was the mayor of Dayton when a mass shooting occurred in the Oregon District in 2019.

Whaley said that she would roll back legislation passed by DeWine, including the “stand your ground law,” less concealed carry, and allowing teachers to carry firearms with 24 hours of training.

“So we will roll back those bad laws and then we will pass universal background checks again,” she said.

On the issue of Ohio’s redistricting issues, Whaley says if she is elected, she would redraw the maps to be constitutional and fair.

“I will draw all fair districts,” she said. “Now, look, it’s not going to be a Democratic majority. I know that. And that’s not what this is about. This is about making sure that decisions about who the state legislature is is not made in a primary, but is made in a general election.”

A campaign sign for the Whaley_Stephens campaign..jpg
Garrett Reese
A campaign sign for the Whaley/Stephens campaign.

Whaley also covered what she describes as THE issue of her campaign: abortion rights.

“On June 24th, every woman in this country had a tough, tough day,” Whaley said, referring to the Supreme Court’s overruling of Roe v. Wade. “For the first time in my lifetime, a group of people lost a right.”

She continued, “So the very first action that I will do is begin the ballot process to codify Roe in the Ohio Constitution. So no matter what happens, no matter what extremist comes down the way, we will have this protection in the Ohio Constitution forever for women in this state.”

The next stop on Whaley’s tour will be in Toledo on Oct. 24.

Ideastream Public Media reached out to the DeWine campaign for a comment. The campaign said with just 20 days to Election Day, “our campaign schedule is prioritizing meeting with and hearing directly from Ohio voters across the state on the campaign trail.”

DeWine and Whaley will face off in a Cleveland.com/Plain Dealer Editorial Board debate next week.

Garrett is a WYSO intern and graduate of University of Dayton. He spent time covering the Dayton area with WDTN Channel 2 News after the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak. It was around this time that he began listening to NPR and fell in love with radio-based journalism. Garrett graduated from UD in May of 2021 with his Bachelor’s in Communications with a focus in journalism and graduated in May of 2022 with his Master’s. While not working at WYSO, Garrett is an avid reader, loves to play video games, and hanging out with his friends.