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Democratic Challenger to DeWine Says He Should Order Masks in Schools

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley
Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, one of the Democrats running against Gov. Mike DeWine for his post in next year's gubernatorial race, calls on the governor to require face masks in schools. Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to rise as the Delta variant spreads across the state.

COVID cases numbers are continuing to climb, and the state says only around one-third of kids older than 12 who can be vaccinated got those shots. One of the Democrats challenging Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s re-election says she questions his motivation for not issuing a statewide mask mandate in schools.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said when DeWine saidthere’s "no appetite" for a mask mandate, he meant that there was opposition to one from his fellow Republicans who dominate the Statehouse. Whaley says DeWine cares more about his primary than Ohio kids.

And Whaley said while a new law allows lawmakers to overturn a governor’s mask mandate, he has the power to issue one.

“I think he could actually fight with the legislature on behalf of our children. Maybe they’d surprise us and do the right thing. And if they don’t, then yes, we should take it to the courts," Whaley said.

DeWine’s campaign manager said in a statement that it’s surprising a mayor who supports local control doesn’t believe in local control and parental choice when it comes to Ohio’s children.

And the governor's office said districts should make masks decisions locally and that students can wear them regardless of district policy.
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.