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The Democratic governor's primary features two former mayors

John Cranley and Nan Whaley at Ohio Debate Commission debate March 29, 2022
Josh Bickel
Ohio Debate Commission
John Cranley and Nan Whaley at Ohio Debate Commission debate March 29, 2022

Nan Whaley and John Cranley say they will do for Ohio what they did for Dayton and Cincinnati

John Cranley’s first campaign ad hit on a point that has become his mantra:

“While Ohio has declined, Cincinnati has made a comeback, the first major Ohio city to grow again after decades of decline.”

Nan Whaley also touts her work in Dayton, which was one of the worst places in the nation for opioid deaths, and through a tornado. She says her economic plan will turn Ohio around.

“I believe Ohio deserves better. I will make sure your pay goes up, your bills go down and you will finally have a state government that is working for you.”

Cranley also promises to create 30,000 broadband and clean energy jobs that pay a minimum of $60,000 a year by legalizing marijuana. And he will propose giving Ohio families earning $75,000 a year or less a $500 yearly dividend, paid for by increasing the severance tax on oil and gas drilling. Cranley says Ohio needs his economic strategy.

Nick Evans

“When it comes to economic growth and growth in general, my record is better than Mike DeWine. Over his career, the average wage in Ohio has gone down. The average wage in my city has gone up. Poverty has gone down 1 and ½ times faster than the state of Ohio and we grew twice as fast as the state.”

Cranley says he’s sure his plans will work for Ohio and he makes this promise at the end of his campaign ad:

“We are not going to insult you with platitudes and false promises. Our plans will lead to real results. If we don’t get it done in my first term, I won’t run again.”

On the campaign trail, Whaley touts her middle-class roots. And, like Cranley, she says she wants to raise Ohio’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, but she has fewer specific proposals. She says wealthy political donors have been able to get what they want, holding Ohio workers back, creating a revolving door effect by putting their cronies in key state positions.

Jon Baker

“You can work for the government or you can work for corporations but you can’t work for both.”

Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown has endorsed her as being pro worker but Whaley says that doesn’t mean she is anti-business.

"I think being pro-worker is being pro-business actually. What I hear over and over again from businesses is they can't find a strong enough workforce. And I think a lot of that has to do with one; making sure that we invest in our workers from the very young age, and two, that we pay them well."

Both Whaley and Cranley say they know they will need to work with a Republican dominated legislature that’s been resistant to Democratic proposals to get their agendas accomplished if elected. And both point to situations where they have been able to do that in their own communities.