DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Outgoing Dayton mayor Nan Whaley announces she is running for governor of the state of Ohio. The Democratic primary election is still more than a year away.
Monday Whaley unveiled a new website, a new logo, and a new message. In a two-and-a-half minute announcement video, she says it’s time for a governor from the middle class.
In the campaign ad, she says, “It’s time for a little bit of Dayton toughness in Columbus.” Whaley says her leadership and many of her successes can scale to the state level. Her campaign announcement video touts her leadership through the economic and opioid crises, Memorial Day tornadoes, and Oregon District mass shooting.
Whaley says, “I think Ohio deserves better. We know that people in Ohio are working more and more hours and getting further behind, costs are going up, and they need a governor that is laser-focused on that work.”
First elected Dayton mayor in 2013, Whaley was thrust into the national spotlight after the 2019 mass shooting. Now she’s setting her sights on governor DeWine, saying in the ad “Our leaders are too weak to do something.”
But she must first must win the Democratic primary next May against a field that’s eventually expected to include Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and other candidates with deep war chests.
Whaley says, “We have gotten great support today. It’s been really overwhelming. And we can’t do this without the help of everyday Ohioans getting behind our campaign and our message.”
Whaley is trying to become the first woman in Ohio to be a major party nominee for governor. It’s her second try after running in 2018. She says, “I think the last time I got to meet people all across the state that I frankly didn’t know. I got to see firsthand the challenges that are affecting Dayton are very similar to the challenges affecting other communities.”
WATCH State and national Republican groups react to Nan Whaley’s run for governor:
She’s critical of career politicians, including Governor DeWine, but knows intense criticism will also come her way, as it did Monday after her announcement. Ohio GOP Chairman Bob Paduchik said in a statement “Dayton’s violent crime has spiked, poverty has risen to one of the highest levels in the nation, and incompetent infrastructure management left hundreds of thousands of Daytonians without water for days.”
And the executive director of the Republican Governors Association wrote: “Nan Whaley is a failed candidate who seems destined to repeat the same mistakes she made in 2018.”
Whaley says, “I get a lot of support, too. So there are people who say really great things. And I know the truth is somewhere in the middle. But you have to be focused on what this is about: getting Ohio to be really competitive in this new century.”
The 2022 primary will be held May 3rd of next year.