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Dayton mayor to run for governor

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley announced she will run for governor in next year’s Democratic primary because “the people of Ohio deserve better.”

Whaley said Monday: “For the past three decades we’ve had the same corrupt politicians in Columbus who care more about extreme interests and lining their personal and political pockets than those who are actually trying to provide for their families. It’s time for a change.”

Whaley’s decision has been expected, particularly when she announced in January that she wouldn’t seek a third four-year term as Dayton mayor.

Democrat John Cranley, who cannot run this year for re-election as Cincinnati mayor because of the city’s term-limits law, also is expected to declare his candidacy for governor. That will set up a showdown between the two political allies.

Whaley was a gubernatorial candidate in 2018 but got out of the race — along with others — before the Democratic primary when Richard Cordray, a former attorney general and state treasurer, entered. Cranley endorsed Whaley before she withdrew.

Cordray lost to Republican Mike DeWine in 2018.

This time, Whaley said, she’s staying in the race.

DeWine is running for re-election next year.

Joe Blystone, a businessman who’s never run for elected office before, said he plans to challenge DeWine. The governor also may face other challenges in the Republican primary.

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Paduchik said Whaley has “failed” Dayton and now “wants a promotion. Ohioans deserve leaders who serve to better our communities, not build their own political resumes.”

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