COLUMBUS — Democratic Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley has tossed her hat into the gubernatorial ring, joining a growing field of candidates from both parties who want to replace outgoing Gov. John Kasich.
Whaley announced her candidacy Monday morning, touting her tenure as Dayton’s mayor, saying, as governor, she would “be on the job day and night, because I get it and I’ll get things done.”
“We have to put Ohioans back to work by creating good-paying jobs people can raise a family on and hold the drug companies that caused the heroin crisis accountable,” she said in a statement released by her campaign. “When you’re a mayor, you don’t have the luxury of looking the other way. You take the world as it is and have to deliver results for your community. That’s exactly what I’ve done as mayor of Dayton and what I’ll do as governor of Ohio.”
She added, “We need to put Ohio back to work. There’s a better way. We can and must rebuild our state — community by community.”
Whaley is an Indiana native who attended the University of Dayton and remained in the community thereafter. She served two terms on the Dayton City Commission before being elected mayor in 2013.
Whaley joins state Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman), former state Rep. Connie Pillich (D-Cincinnati), former Congresswoman Betty Sutton and former Wayne County Commissioner David Kiefer among Democrats who are seeking the Democratic nomination to run for governor next year.
Others could enter that race — former Attorney General Richard Cordray and former Congressman and Cleveland Mayor Dennis Kucinich come up in that conversation.
Whaley’s announcement came a day after Secretary of State Jon Husted announced his candidacy on the Republican side of the aisle, joining Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and Congressman Jim Renacci, who earlier launched their campaigns.
Attorney General Mike DeWine also is expected to join race.
Marc Kovac covers the Ohio Statehouse for Gatehouse Media. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.