Nan Whaley, the Democratic mayor of Dayton, has announced she's running for governor in 2022. Whaley has gained statewide and national attention for her response to several critical events in Dayton.
After the 2019 mass shooting in Dayton, Nan Whaley became a lead Ohio voice calling for more gun regulations.
Whaley, who also ran for governor in 2018 but dropped out before the primary, says she wants the state to focus on helping workers, increase wages, invest in education, and crackdown on corruption.
"I have been through leading a community through its toughest times. I know what's going on every single day and people that are trying to get ahead and getting further and further behind. And I will lead the effort to clean up Columbus. I am not part of the self-dealing that's going on and it's time to do something different," Whaley says.
Whaley adds that she would like to see Ohio raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
"I think being pro-worker is being pro-business. 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 to that we pay them well," says Whaley, who also proposes providing statewide universal preschool.
Whaley becomes the first Democrat to announce a gubernatorial bid challenging Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) who says he will seek re-election.
"Governor Mike DeWine’s leadership kept Ohioans safe, people working, and kids learning throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and his policies continue to put Ohio first," said Dave Rexrode, Republican Governors Association executive director, in a written statement. "Nan Whaley is a failed candidate who seems destined to repeat the same mistakes she made in 2018. Democrats have increasingly embraced an extreme agenda that is out of step with mainstream Ohio; and the RGA is all in and looking forward to standing with Governor DeWine and helping him lead Ohio for four more years."
Central Ohio business owner and farmer Joe Blystone is also running for the Republican nomination, positioning himself as running to the right of DeWine.
Whaley served two terms on the Dayton City Commission before becoming the city's mayor in 2013. In 2018, she bowed out of the gubernatorial race to endorse eventual Democratic nominee Richard Cordray, who lost to DeWine in the general election.