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Republican Mike DeWine wins race for Ohio Governor against Democrat Nan Whaley

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) thanks the crowd during his acceptance speech in downtown Columbus.
Daniel Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) thanks the crowd during his acceptance speech in downtown Columbus.

Mike DeWine, Ohio’s Republican incumbent governor, has won his bid to be re-elected as Ohio Governor against Nan Whaley, Democratic candidate and former Dayton mayor.

The race was called almost immediately after the polls had closed in Ohio.

DeWine had 63% of the vote against Whaley’s 37%, according to unofficial results. DeWine said he and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted will continue their mission for Ohio.

"I continue will continue to push forward and to lead and to talk about the things that we have to do," DeWine said to a group of Republican supporters during a watch party in Columbus on election night. "Our goal for every person in this state is for them to live up to their God given potential to remove all barriers that are hindering them from doing that. Because Ohio is the land of opportunity.”

As a candidate, DeWine has kept a low-profile as part of his campaign strategy to avoid discussing controversial political issues, such as abortion and gun regulations.

Through his ads and seldom campaign speeches, DeWine touted his administration’s role in bringing companies like Intel to Ohio, growing the economy, and investing in children’s initiatives.

In the final days leading up to the election, DeWine told supporters that Ohio is moving in the right direction under his leadership.

DeWine’s game plan for re-election included a refusal to debate Whaley, which resulted in the Republican nominee refusing to share a stage with the first woman to ever be nominated for governor by a major party in Ohio.

Whaley had made the issue of abortion a centerpiece of her campaign at a time when it appeared the topic could trigger a groundswell of support, based on the momentum generated by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn constitutional protections to abortion rights.

“Despite a broken state government and politicians working to divide us, it's still clear to me that we have more in common than not. We're going to hear from folks that it's time to write off Ohio as some backwater where extremism is just the way things are. But I refuse to accept that,” Whaley said to a group of supporters on election night.

Whaley said she will now turn her attention towards supporting a ballot initiative in Ohio to codify the abortion rights previously provided through Roe v. Wade.

Contact Andy at achow@statehousenews.org.
Contact Jo Ingles at jingles@statehousenews.org.
Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.