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Nan Whaley wins Democratic nomination for Ohio Governor

Nan Whaley, former Mayor of Dayton, running for nomination for Ohio Governor, speaks to reporters following a debate against John Cranley at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, Tuesday, March 29, 2022.
Aaron Doster
Nan Whaley, former Mayor of Dayton, speaks to reporters following a debate against John Cranley at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, Tuesday, March 29, 2022.

Nan Whaley makes history as Ohio’s first female major-party governor nominee. Whaley defeated former Cincinnati mayor John Cranley for the democratic nomination for Ohio governor.

Whaley grew up in Indiana and moved to Dayton in 1994 to attend the University of Dayton. Whaley has tapped Cuyahoga County Council Cheryl Stephens to join her ticket as lieutenant governor.

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.

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.