COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – When you talk to Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley about her life, it becomes clear quickly one person has had a massive impact on who she is and what she stands for.
Originally from a small town in Indiana called Mooresville, Nan Whaley’s role model is her mother.
“My mom was the local elected official, a Democrat; first Democrat elected in our county in decade,.” Whaley said.
Her mother’s run for state office in 1990 was unsuccessful, and that curdled Whaley’s passion for politics; she was 14 at the time.
“That turned me off on politics, frankly; because, you know, you don’t like a situation where people don’t like your mother,” Whaley said.
A few years later, while attending the University of Dayton- her parents urged her to let politics back into her life.
“They were like you’ve got to go help out the re-election of Clinton and that’s how i got involved again,” Whaley said.
Whaley went on to run as a candidate for city commissioner at the age of 29.
“I was not married, I have no family in Dayton at the time, and that the people of Dayton were like, ‘yeah, let’s give this young woman a try,’ I think was pretty amazing for the community.”
Eventually, Whaley became Dayton’s mayor.
While her passion for politics is great, there is one thing she loves most about our state.
“I love all the ice cream of Ohio; okay, so I think from Graeter’s, to Jeni’s, to Mitchell’s, I love all the ice cream; I think it’s the best and I love how passionate people are about their hometown ice cream of choice.”