The contentious history of Gov. DeWine and nominee Nan Whaley

The contentious history of Gov. DeWine and nominee Nan Whaley
Posted at 6:45 PM, May 04, 2022

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The two nominees for governor of Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine and Nan Whaley, former mayor of Dayton, have a complicated history.

Incumbent DeWine has unofficially won the Republican nomination. His Democratic challenger, Nan Whaley, made history as the first woman to be nominated for the top position.

"My commitment to the people, the state of Ohio, as we travel around for the rest of this year in this campaign, we will continue to articulate a vision for this state about where we intend to take the state," the governor said in his victory speech.

"Ohio isn't a red state or a blue state — it's a frustrated state that has been ignored by politicians from both parties for far too long," Whaley said in her victory speech. "I'm running for governor because I know that Ohio is ready for a change."

Opposing candidates will often throw jabs at the other and this time, the nominees are getting personal.

"He stood here in our community after nine of our neighbors were murdered in the Oregon District and promised to do something to address gun violence," Whaley said. "Oh, and he did something — he made things worse."

When Whaley was mayor of Dayton in 2019, a man shot and killed nine people. Another 27 were wounded during it.

In order to help Whaley and Dayton, DeWine created the STRONG Ohio bill. The bill would significantly crack down on gun violence, while at the same time he looks to improve and streamline the background check and gun application process, to ensure guns only get into the hands of those who can lawfully own them.

The governor then asked the GOP legislators to stop sending him gun bills until they deal with his. That didn't happen.

Once the General Assembly didn't act on his plan for stronger gun control, he signed legislation that critics say would make it easier to get a gun.

"Instead, he made all of our Ohio communities less safe with laws like Stand your Ground and declared open season on law enforcement with permitless concealed carry that will lead to more deaths in Ohio," the Democrat said.

When questioned about that earlier this year. DeWine said guns weren't the problem.

"In regard to the particular bill that you're talking about, that the Legislature passed by a big margin and that I that I signed," DeWine said. "If a criminal wants to have a gun on them, they're going to have the gun on them.

"So the problem is people. The problem is the criminals. We've got to go after the violent offenders and go after them and lock them up and keep them locked up."

Whaley believes DeWine doesn't keep his promises. This is why her campaign is about fighting against corruption, protecting reproductive freedom and job creation by raising minimum wage. She also states she is committed to investing in Appalachian communities, helping veterans and providing accessible and quality education to children and students.

DeWine's campaign focuses on continuing the work he has been doing such as growing business infrastructure, protecting the right to life and keeping police departments funded. He speaks out to address mental health frequently, as well as helping fund childcare institutions.

News 5 reached out to both candidates, but only Whaley agreed to an interview during Good Morning Cleveland. News 5 reached out again to DeWine afterward as well.

"We've seen how working families have had to work harder and harder, while their pay goes down and their bills go up," Whaley said. "And frankly, Ohio deserves better."

She hopes to show voters that now is a time for a change.

In the past, DeWine has pointed to development, like the deal to bring an Intel chip plant to the state, as a change and a way to move Ohio forward.

Follow WEWS statehouse reporter Morgan Trau on Twitter and Facebook.