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Nan Whaley wins Democratic nomination in Ohio gubernatorial primary, AP says

 Nan Whaley, former Dayton mayor, announces Cheryl Stephens as her running mate in the 2022 Ohio gubernatorial race.
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
Nan Whaley, former Dayton mayor, announces Cheryl Stephens as her running mate in the 2022 Ohio gubernatorial race.

Former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley won the nomination in the state's Democratic gubernatorial primary, according to a projection by The Associated Press.

Whaley is the first woman to win a major party's nomination in an Ohio gubernatorial primary.

She defeated former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley in a race that was fairly tame.

In a social media post, Whaley accepted the party's nomination.

"As two women from the working class, we are ready to shake up the status quo and root out the corruption that has run rampant at the Statehouse under Republican leadership for the last thirty years. It’s time to take back Ohio for the working class," Whaley wrote.

There were a few jabs thrown by Cranley and Whaley who – as former mayors – used to be colleagues on the Ohio Mayors Alliance.

Whaley attacked Cranley for flipping his position on abortion rights. Cranley once had a record of being anti-abortion and supporting measures that restricted the procedure. However, he said because of certain personal experiences his position changed and he became a supporter of abortion rights before entering the gubernatorial race.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, had endorsed Whaley as being pro-worker, but Whaley says that doesn't mean she is anti-business.

"I think being pro-worker is being pro-business, actually. What I hear over and over again from businesses is they can't find a strong enough workforce. And I think a lot of that has to do with one; making sure that we invest in our workers from the very young age, and two, that we pay them well," Whaley said.

Ohio Democratic Party Chair Liz Walters issued a statement congratulating Whaley.

"Nan Whaley is the leader Ohio deserves with a proven track record of leading Ohio through its toughest times and helping our state come out stronger on the other side. Tonight, she makes history as the first woman to secure the gubernatorial nomination of a major political party in Ohio, cementing a strong and diverse ticket of candidates ready to show Ohio voters we're on their side," said Walters.

Whaley selected Cheryl Stephens as her running mate in January.

Stephens is a member of the Cuyahoga County Council, CEO of the non-profit East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation (EANDC), and former mayor of Cleveland Heights.

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

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.