Gubernatorial Candidate Nan Whaley Touring Lorain County, Speaks to Oberlin Community at Slow Train Cafe


On Wednesday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Whaley discussed her platform with College and City residents in Slow Train Cafe. Whaley is running for the seat against incumbent Republican Governor Mike DeWine.

Whaley served as mayor of Dayton from 2014 to 2022, and her running mate Cheryl Stephens, who is running for lieutenant governor, served as mayor of Cleveland Heights.

During her Wednesday talk, Whaley spoke to those in attendance about the ballot and her gubernatorial bid at large.

“I’m proud to be on this ticket with Cheryl Stephens, the former mayor of Cleveland [Heights],” Whaley said. “I always say, ‘What’s better than one former female mayor, but two former?’ And look, we want to get back to governing this state like the common sense state it is, right?”

Lili Sandler, founder of grassroots organization Lorain County Rising and Campaign Manager for Anthony Eliopoulos’ District 13 State Senate bid, worked to bring Whaley to this venue as part of a two-stop visit in Lorain County. 

“Nan Whaley’s campaign got in touch with me last week and said that she wanted to make a stop in Lorain County and she hadn’t been to the City of Oberlin yet this cycle,” Sandler said. “And so I suggested that they come to Oberlin because Oberlin is a bastion of progressivism, since its founding — both the College and the community. And sometimes the most reliable progressives get ignored by Democratic candidates because they know that they have their support … but I think that can be dangerous because then those folks who give that support can feel taken advantage of or taken for granted.”

Whaley said that she wanted to show Oberlin students, who rarely remain in Ohio after graduating, what the state has to offer and make it a place where students would feel comfortable living post-college. 

“I think Oberlin’s a key community, and certainly the students of Oberlin are key for the state,” Whaley told the Review. “Too often I run into Oberlin graduates that don’t stay in Ohio, and so I want Oberlin graduates to have opportunities to consider Ohio even if they’re not from here. That’s not happening right now with this extreme radical politics, so we need to be a common-sense state for people to say, ‘Yeah, I liked it here, and there’s opportunity for me here, and I could live here because I have freedom.’”

Though less than 24 hours passed between the announcement of the event and the event itself, according to Sandler, the turnout was strong with around 70 total attendees and an approximate 60–40 split between City residents and campus community members. 

During her talk in Oberlin, Whaley spoke to various issues at the heart of her campaign such as reproductive justice and raising the minimum wage. Whaley pledged that, if elected, she would raise the Ohio minimum wage to $15 per hour.

“We wanna make sure that we get to the issues that are affecting working Ohio, making sure people’s pay goes up [by] raising the minimum wage [to] $15 an hour and making sure that one good job is enough no matter where you live in this state,” Whaley said. “It is the key to growth, and our One Good Job Plan does that by building jobs from the middle out instead of the top down.”