COLUMBUS, Ohio — Nan Whaley has won the Democratic nomination for Ohio governor, becoming the first woman in the state’s history to receive a major party’s backing for the office.
Ohio has never elected a female governor, and the former Dayton mayor figures to be an underdog against incumbent Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, who sewed up his party’s nomination despite angering conservatives with his aggressive pandemic mandates in a state that has swung to the right in recent years.
Whaley defeated former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley on Tuesday in a race that drew little attention as much of the state focused on the contentious Senate Republican primary and ongoing redistricting legal battle.
She promised during the campaign to protect abortion rights and wants the state to add a $15 minimum wage, universal preschool and better access to child care.
Ohio hasn’t elected a Democrat to be governor since 2006. Despite being a presidential bellwether state for over a half century until 2020, Ohio has become more Republican under the influence of former President Donald Trump.