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Former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley wins Democratic nomination in Ohio gubernatorial race

Whaley defeated former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and will face incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine in November.
Credit: Aaron Doster/AP
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.

CLEVELAND — Nan Whaley is one step closer to being Ohio's first elected female governor.

The former Mayor of Dayton has won the Democratic nomination in the state's gubernatorial race, according to the Associated Press. The 46-year-old earned the nod with a surprisingly dominant victory over former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. She will face incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine in November's general election.

"I'm running for governor because I know Ohio is ready for a change," Whaley told supporters after her victory. "The fact of the matter is Mike DeWine is out of touch, corrupt, and doesn't care about you."

Whaley took aim at DeWine's age during her remarks, pointing out that she was born in 1976, the same year that the current governor of Ohio began his political career. 

"I am 46 years old and Mike DeWine has been in office for basically my entire life," she added. "I'm not saying that to be funny, because I think the last 46 years has been devastating in Ohio."

Ohio has elected just one Democrat to be governor in the past three decades. Since then, the state has shifted to the right, especially in recent years with the emergence of Donald Trump as a force in the Republican party.

Whaley thinks having a woman at the top of the ticket will be an advantage for Democrats this fall, pointing out that the party has fared better with female voters in states that have nominated women for leadership roles. Ohio's only female governor to date, Nancy Hollister, served just 11 days to finish out the term of George Voinovich after his election to the U.S. Senate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

You can watch Whaley's victory speech below:

More Election Night coverage:

LIVE BLOG | Gov. Mike DeWine wins GOP gubernatorial bid, will face Nan Whaley; Rep. Tim Ryan wins Democratic nod for U.S. Senate: Real-time updates

Rep. Tim Ryan speaks after winning Democratic nomination for US Senate in Ohio

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