Nov. 8, 2022 Governor



































+Mike DeWine/Jon Husted (R) i
Nan Whaley/Cheryl Stephens (D)
write-ins (4)


Registered voters: 8,029,950.  Ballots counted: 4,201,368.
Plurality: 1,034,935 votes (25.03 percentage points).
OH Secretary of State

: Gov. Mike DeWine (R) won a second term, fending off several primary challengers and defeating former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D) in the general election. 

Abortion wa
s a defining issue in this race.  DeWine, a pro-life stalwart, had signed a "heartbeat bill" in 2019, but a federal court judge issued an injunction against enforcement of the law.  Following the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs on June 24, a judge lifted the injunction, putting the six-week ban in effect.  The case of 10-year old rape victim from Ohio who had to travel to Indiana for an abortion drew national attention.  Further, there was talk that the state legislature might take up a full abortion ban. 

DeWine focused on accomplishments, while Whaley argued he was out-of-touch, corrupt and "caves to the extremist wing of his party every single time."  DeWine had kept his distance from former President Trump, but on Sept. 7 Trump issued a statement endorsing DeWine "who quietly but professionally and patriotically, goes about doing his job, and really well."  On the Democratic side Sen. Sherrod Brown was a special guest at a number of Whaley/Stephens events in the closing stretch.

DeWine, with the advantage of incumbency and a long political career—he was first elected to office as Greene County Prosecutor in 1976—had a substantial lead in polls and fundraising from the outset of the general election campaign.  Whaley took on a new campaign manager for the general election.

There was no face-to-face debate between DeWine and Whaley; the two did appear together via video before the editorial board of cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer on Oct. 27 (>).

DeWine scored a broad victory, winning by just over 25 percentage points and carrying all but three counties (1, 2).  Republicans swept all statewide races, and, benefiting from gerrymandering (>), built on their supermajorities in the state legislature.

May 3 Republican Primary
[primary literature]
During his first term, DeWine came under considerable criticism from conservatives, particularly over pandemic response.  His three primary challengers attacked from the right, but
former President Trump did not weigh in on this race.  DeWine had a significant fundraising advantage, and in a Feb. 18, 2022 vote the Ohio Republican Party state central committee endorsed him.

Former U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, who was the 2018 GOP nominee for U.S. Senate, announced he would challenge DeWine in a June 9, 2021 video (>).  He declared, "We need to dump 'Ohio's Cuomo' Mike DeWine, end his Trump-bashing reign, and elect an Ohio First conservative who fights for you."  Renacci announced Joe Knopp, a producer of Christian movies, as his running mate on Dec. 2, 2021.

Joe Blystone runs a farm, bakery butcher shop, market and steakhouse in Canal Winchester (in the Columbus area). 
With his long beard and hat, Blystone cut a distinctive figure.  He entered the race as a constitutional conservative in Spring 2021 "to give a loud conservative voice to all Ohioans."  Blystone initially chose restaurant owner Joanna Swallen as his running mate, but she left the ticket.  In January he announced Jeremiah Workman, an Iraq War veteran, as his choice.  He performed well in rural parts of the state, carrying more than 20 counties.

Also on the ballot was former state Rep. Ron Hood, who teamed with former state Rep. Candice Keller.
The were no Republican primary debates.  The Ohio Debate Commission had sought to organize a debate at Central State University in Wilberforce on Mar. 29.  On Mar. 10 DeWine declined to participate, Renacci then followed, and the debate was cancelled. 

More than one million Ohioans voted in the Republican primary.  DeWine/Husted won with 48.1% to 28.0% for Renacci/Knopp, 21.8% for Blystone/Workman and 2.1% for Hood/Keller.  DeWine was held to under 50%, but his vote total exceeded the votes cast for both candidates in the Democratic primary.

May 3 Democratic Primary
The Democratic contest featured former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley.

Whaley served two terms as mayor of Dayton, from Jan. 2014 to Jan. 2022, and previously served two terms as a Dayton city commissioner.  She also sought the 2018 Democratic nomination for governor, but she ended her campaign in January and endorsed eventual nominee Richard Cordray.  Whaley announced her 2022 candidacy on Apr. 19, 2021 (>).  
In October she received a key boost when Sen. Sherrod Brown endorsed her.  Whaley announced Cheryl Stephens as her running mate on Jan. 5, 2022 (>).  Stephens is a member of the Cuyahoga County Council and president/CEO of the East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation.  She formerly served as director of acquisition, disposition, development for the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation and Mayor of Cleveland Heights.

Cranley served two terms as mayor of Cincinnati, from Dec. 2013 to Jan. 2022 and previously served two terms as a Cincinnati city councilman.  He started looking into a run for governor in 2020.  In a June 2, 2021 interview, he made it clear he would run, declaring "Ohio needs a comeback." (>).  On Aug. 10 he formally announced (>), and on Jan. 5, 2022 he named state Sen. Teresa Fedor as his running mate.

Cranley and Whaley participated in a debate organized by the Ohio Debate Commission at Central State University in Wilberforce on Mar. 29 (>), and engaged in a more contentious debate at the Columbus Metropolitan Club on Apr. 20 (>).  Just over half a million votes were cast in the Democratic primary; Whaley/Stephens defeated Cranley/Fedor by 65.0% to 35.0%.  Whaley thus became the first woman nominated by major party for governor in Ohio. 

An Independent Candidate Fails to Qualify
Niel Peterson, a Huber Heights pastor and Army veteran, announced his candidacy on Aug. 15, 2021.  His running mate, Mike Stewart, was also a pastor and veteran.  To achieve ballot status as an Independent ticket they needed to submit 5,000 signatures by May 2, 2022.  They were running as constitutional conservatives.Peterson argued that "our nation is under siege" and Stewart stated that "we have ripped the moral fabric of our nation to shreds."  However, on July 18, the Ohio Secretary of State's office announced that Petersen had submitted only 4,445 valid signatures, short of the 5,000 required.

Campaign Managers:
Mike DeWine: 
Brenton Temple
Deputy policy director to Gov. DeWine from Jan. 2019.  Senior political director on DeWine-Husted for Ohio from Nov. 2017.  Political director at the Ohio Republican Party, Sept. 2015-Feb. 2017.  Legislative consultant to the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, Jan.-Aug. 2015.  Regional political director on Mike DeWine for Ohio Attorney General, Apr.-Nov. 2014.  Special counsel supervisor in the Ohio Attorney General's Office, Nov. 2012-Apr. 2014.  Lead press advance on Romney for President, June-Nov. 2012.  TPV supervisor (Jan.-June 2012) and problem resolution officer (Mar.. 2011-June 2012) in the Ohio Attorney General's Office.  Victory captain in OH-12 for the Ohio Republican Party, Apr.-Nov. 2010.  Administrative assistant at the Ohio Coal Association, Aug. 2009-Apr. 2010.  B.A. in political science from The Ohio State University, 2009.

Nan Whaley:
Brian Sowyrda
(May 2022, succeeding Hagner)  Chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (NM), Jan. 2019-Jan. 2021.  Campaign manager on Xochitl for Congress, Jan.-Dec. 2018.  Campaign manager on Mike Kelley for District 2 Boston City Council, Apr.-Nov. 2017.  Consultant at Hilltop Public Solutions, Mar.-Apr. 2017.  Deputy political directo on Van Ostern for New Hampshire, July-Nov. 2016  Field and training director for the NHDP, Nov. 2015-July 2016.  Field director on Donchess for Mayor (Nashua, NH), July-Nov. 2015.  M.S. in international politics from Trinity College Dublin, 2014; B.S. in political science and government from Susquehanna University, 2013.

John Hagner (Mar. 2021 to May 2022—
left after the primary, declaring he was "burnt out on politics completely" and embarked on a six-week intensive basic pastry class at Le Cordon Bleu in France (>)
Partner at Clarity Campaign Labs from May 2013.  Field director for the DSCC, Jan.-Dec. 2012.  Director of targeting and data analysis at the DCCC, Jan. 2010-Dec. 2011.  Deputy executive director at the Ohio Democratic Party, 2006-09. 
Field director on Sherrod Brown's 2006 campaign for U.S. Senate.  Campaign manager for Steve Young in Calif. 48th CD Oct. 4, 2005 special election/Dec. 6, 2005 runoff. Targeting director on Paul Hackett's unsuccessful campaign for Congress against Jean Schmidt in Ohio 2nd CD Aug. 2, 2005 special election.  Assistant to DNC Coordinated Campaign director Karen Hicks in Fall 2004.  Bachelor's degree from William & Mary 2001.

See also:
Sarah Donaldson.  "For Ohio governor, Mike DeWine significantly outraises Nan Whaley." 
NBC4 WCMH-TV, Nov. 2, 2022.

Jessie Balmert and Haley BeMiller.  "J.D. Vance, Mike DeWine skip Ohio Debate Commission debates in lead up to 2022 election."  Cincinnati.com/The Enquirer, Sept. 21, 2022.

Nick Evans.  "Gov. Mike DeWine's shifting record on debating."  Ohio Capital Journal, Sept. 6, 2022.

--.  "Remarks from Nan Whaley: Democratic Candidate for Governor of Ohio."  The City Club of Cleveland, Aug. 17, 2022.

Haley BeMiller and Jessie Balmert.  "Ohio banned abortion after 6 weeks. What other bills are lawmakers working on?"  The Columbus Dispatch, July 14, 2022.

Karen Kasler.  "DeWine talks about Dobbs decision as Ohio's six-week abortion ban takes effect."  WKSU, June 24, 2022.

Jim Provance and Trevor Hubert.  "DeWine campaign coffers 10 times that of Whaley."  The Blade, June 10, 2022.

Gregory Kreig.  "Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine enters primary day the favorite to defeat Trump-aligned GOP challengers.  CNN, May 2, 2022.

Jeremy Pelzer.  "Gov. Mike DeWine still considered frontrunner in GOP race for Ohio governor."  cleveland.com, Apr. 27, 2022.

Howard Wilkinson.  "Analysis: With Cranley and Whaley aligned on many issues, how will voters decide?"  WVXU, Apr. 27, 2022. ["Politically Speaking" column]

Jessie Balmert.  "Ohio Republican Party endorses Gov. Mike Dewine over protests of some in meeting."  cincinnati.com, Feb. 19, 2022.

Jeremy Pelzer.  "Despite criticism and missteps, Gov. Mike DeWine enters primary campaign season with clear advantages."  cleveland.com, Feb. 4, 2022.

Paula Christian.  "Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley exploring run for governor in 2022."  WCPO, Feb. 14, 2020.