COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is a 75-year-old career politician who led Ohio through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nan Whaley, the former mayor of Dayton, is hoping to become the first female governor in the state.
DeWine and Whaley secured their nominations Tuesday night and will appear on the ballot for the November general election.
The two candidates are miles apart on certain issues that could shape Ohio’s future, such as abortion. DeWine has mentioned in past events that he is anti-abortion and Whaley has said she is for abortion-rights.
DeWine and Whaley addressed them in their victory speeches Tuesday night.
“If we re-elect Mike DeWine, abortion will be criminalized in Ohio, no question,” Whaley said.
“For 40 years, I’ve voted on abortion issues. I believe we have an obligation to protect the most vulnerable,” DeWine said.
Gun violence is another topic both candidates are passionate about.
After the Dayton shooting in 2019 where nine people were killed and 17 others wounded, Whaley and DeWine came together for tougher gun control legislation.
In March, the governor signed Senate Bill 215, which allows anyone 21 and older to carry a gun without a permit as long as they lawfully possess it.
DeWine defended his record on reducing crime on Tuesday, stating that his administration invested $250 million into local police departments and created four narcotics intelligence centers.
DeWine also said he supported legislation that would increase prison time for criminals convicted of violent crimes and has pushed to have outstanding warrants in the state be entered in a national database.
“We have 90% that are in the national database that came about because of what this administration, this Lieutenant Governor did,” DeWine said.
Whaley is running on an anti-corruption platform that will require everyone in her administration to sign an ethics pledge.
She said decades of Republican control of state government have led to scandals, including the one involving First Energy and House Bill 6.
“Four years ago, we had ECOT, big donor, bad idea sucking money out of public education. Six years ago, you had the payday lenders, big donor, bad idea sucking money out of poor communities. Over and over again, these guys don’t think it’s wrong and that’s why we have to change the entire system to have a complete overhaul,” Whaley said.
In the May 3 primary, DeWine earned more votes than both Democratic candidates – Nan Whaley and John Cranley – combined.