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Democratic hopefuls for governor Nan Whaley, John Cranley go head to head

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Posted at 11:00 PM, Mar 29, 2022

WILBERFORCE, Ohio — Nan Whaley and John Cranley are two former mayors from Southwest Ohio each looking to make their case to Democratic voters about why they should be the ones to lead their party in leading this state. In their first debate before the start of early voting in the May 3 primary the hopefuls for the party nomination for governor pointed to corruption in Columbus as a reason for change. Whaley argued one-party rule in Columbus has put the state on the wrong path.

"For the last three decades we've had the same well-heeled lobbyists and politicians running our statehouse and what has it got us,” Whaley said. “I believe Ohio deserves better. I'll make sure your pay goes up, your bills go down and we finally have a state government that's working for you."

Cranley says Ohio needs a comeback and he has a plan to do it.

"Guaranteed 30,000 jobs that pay $60,000 a year to build high-speed broadband and clean energy,” said Cranley. “We're going to pay for that by legalizing marijuana, taxing it, and putting the taxes into those jobs, and then we're going to put real money into people's pockets with a dividend like they have in Alaska and North Dakota."

They stood together against Governor Mike DeWine on many issues including gun reforms. Whaley recalled after the 2019 Dayton shootings the crowd called upon the governor to do something, which he said he would.

"Never in my worst nightmare did I think that the thing he was going to do was to actually make it worse our communities are now less safe,” she said pointing to stand your ground and permit-less concealed carry legislation. Cranley agreed adding, "Mike DeWine did make it worse. Signing that outrageous bill, as well as stand your ground, is a stain on his soul."

The one bit of daylight between the two came on the issue of abortion, both are pro-choice, Cranley though explaining coming to his position later in life.

"I was raised Catholic and started out in a different place on this issue, like Tim Ryan, like Joe Biden, like many others,” he said. “I am pro-choice and as Governor I promise to veto any effort to undermine reproductive freedom."

Whaley countered, ”this is too important when Roe is about to fall, to have someone in the governor's seat that just decided a few months before he announced for governor he was pro-choice."

Early voting in this contest gets underway next Tuesday, April 5.

Watch the whole debate:

2 Democratic candidates in Ohio Gubernatorial Primary Election face off in debate