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Whaley Wins Race For Dayton Mayor

Jerry Kenney

A city commissioner has defeated a former judge to win the election as Dayton's next mayor in the nonpartisan race. Nan Whaley won about 56 percent of the vote to defeat A.J. Wagner in unofficial returns Tuesday with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

Whaley had 9,091 votes to Wagner's 7,029 votes, or nearly 44 percent. 

“You know, we’re really just gonna work the road map," Whaley said Tuesday at Dayton's Democratic Party headquarters. "You know that’s something we talked about through the whole campaign, the road map for a new Dayton. It’s something the commissioners have signed off on, and we’ll get to work.”

Whaley and Wagner ran in one of the most expensive mayoral races in Dayton’s history with Whaley significantly raising more campaign funds than Wagner.  The Democrats differed on a number of issues, including the perception of Dayton as a dying city, and the use of civil service tests to hire police and fire crews.

The candidates also expressed different views on the use of traffic cameras and an eliminated senior tax credit for Dayton residents.

Whaley says Dayton has made progress and wants to build on plans already in place to help attract businesses and resulting jobs. She has been a Dayton city commissioner for eight years and begins her four-year term as mayor in January.

Wagner argued that major change was needed. The former Montgomery County Common Pleas Court judge also served as county auditor.

At Unos in downtown Dayton, Wagner thanked his supporters, saying they ran a good campaign.

“We had people working for months for nothing, for free, volunteers, who really want this city to succeed," he said. "It’s my hope that just because I’m not he Mayor that they wont give up that hope and they’ll continue to work hard. So, we’ve got a lot of work to do ahead of us. I want the city to succeed. I want Nan to succeed as Mayor, and I’ll support her anyway I can to see if that can’t happen.”

Jerry began volunteering at WYSO in 1991 and hosting Sunday night's Alpha Rhythms in 1992. He joined the YSO staff in 2007 as Morning Edition Host, then All Things Considered. He's hosted Sunday morning's WYSO Weekend since 2008 and produced several radio dramas and specials . In 2009 Jerry received the Best Feature award from Public Radio News Directors Inc., and was named the 2023 winner of the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors Best Anchor/News Host award. His current, heart-felt projects include the occasional series Bulletin Board Diaries, which focuses on local, old-school advertisers and small business owners. He has also returned as the co-host Alpha Rhythms.
Stories from the Associated Press.
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