Check out the website:  Look at the recent Political Notes and Len’s Letters on the website: 

With 11.8 million people, Ohio is our seventh largest state.  Our seven smallest states have 14 Senators.  Ohio has 2 – one Republican and one Democrat.  Ohio also has had 16 members of Congress – 13 Republicans and 3 Democrats based on a gerrymander in favor of Republicans. In 2020, it will be 15.

 Four times, the State Supreme Court has found that redistricting proposals submitted to them by the legislature are inconsistent with the state constitution.  A federal court said – OK, go with the third proposal. The May 3 primary was based on the legislature’s third proposal.  The likelihood of change is slim.

 Constitutional Office Contests for 2022


Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (See Political Note #465) vs Republican Governor Mike DeWine

Secretary of State

City Councilor Chelsea Clark is the Democratic challenger for incumbent Republican Frank LaRose.

Attorney General

State Rep Jeff Grossman is the Democratic challenger for incumbent Republican Dave Yost.

 US Senate

Congressman Tim Ryan (See Political Note #392) v Author and Trump Nominee JD Vance

Some Congressional races

OH 01 R+3 City Councilor Greg Landsman (See Political Note #452)

 v Inc Steve Chabot

OH 13 R+3 State Rep Emilia Sykes (See Political Note #460) Attorney, former beauty queen, and Trump acolyte Madison Gesiotto Gilbert

OH 09 R+8 Inc Marcy Kaptur (See Political Note #430) v AF Vet, Security Professional, and QAnon follower JR Majewski

OH 10 R+9 Activist David Esrati v Inc Mike Turner

State Supreme Court Races (See Political Note #444)

For Chief Justice

Democratic Associate Justice Jennifer Brewer v Republican Associate Justice Sharon Kennedy

For Associate Justices

Democratic Appeals Court Judge Marilyn Zayas v Republican Associate Justice Pat DeWine

Democrat Common Pleas Court Judge Terri Jamison v Republican Associate Justice Patrick Fischer

May 10th, 2022        Political Note #465 Nan Whaley Ohio Governor

2022                          General Election

Nan Whaley grew up in Mooresville, Indiana, a town of fewer than 10,000 people. The town is southwest of Indianapolis, south of Route 70 —  the Dwight Eisenhower Highway, and north of Brooklyn and Centerton.  Her family was blue-collar middle class.  Her dad was an auto worker until he was laid off.  Her mom worked in the neighborhood laundromat.

 Nan Whaley attended local public schools, graduated from Mooresville High school, and left for college.  She went to the University of Dayton, a Catholic school with a student body slightly larger than the size of her home town.  She majored in chemistry and was active in student Democratic politics.

 She stayed in Dayton. Her participation in Democratic politics expanded beyond the college.  For nearly four years, beginning during her junior year of college, Nan Whaley was the Executive Director of the County Democratic Party.  Then she got a job that paid a little more.  She became an administrative assistant in the county auditor’s office.  After five years in that role, she was elected a City Commissioner.  After serving two terms as a Commissioner, still in her thirties, she was elected Mayor.

 Becoming Mayor of Dayton was not necessarily a prize.  Ohio is filled with small cities that had once been industrial powerhouses, but have declined.  Dayton is one of those.  Once an ideal for American tinkering, the place where two brothers in a bicycle shop invented the airplane, Dayton’s population has declined from 262,000 in 1960 to 137,000 in 2020.  In 2020, its population was 51% white, 42% African-American.

 One thing that stands out about Dayton is that it has withstood change and remained a cultural center.  It has a local symphony orchestra, a local opera, a local ballet company and ballet school.  One of the two local theaters houses the Human Race Theatre Company. Nan Whaley and other mayors have had something to work with.

 What stands out about Nan Whaley is her competence.  One mark of that competence (and perhaps a measure of how tough the job is), she was unopposed when she ran for her second term.  Check off how she’s done on important issues she needed to address:

 Economic development:  Nan Whaley created a regional manufacturing task force, touted the areas experienced manufacturing work force, maintained strong ties with the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and saw the unemployment decline, pre-pandemic, from 9.3% to 5.9%.

 Opioids:  Ohio was one of the five states with the most serious opioid death problem.  Upon taking office, Nan Whaley declared a state of emergency, introduced a needle exchange program, and made certain that first responders all had overdose reversal medication available to them. By 2018, opioid deaths in Dayton had been cut in half.

 Schools: Supported by a .25% city income tax increase, the Dayton schools increased partnerships with businesses, provided mentors to children, expanded after school programming, joined efforts for school improvement, and offered affordable preschool for all four-year-old children.

 Dayton’s downtown: Renovating the downtown arcade and pursuing new venture, Nan Whaley encouraged what amounted to $200 million in new investment in Dayton’s downtown.

 Housing and transportation:  Nan Whaley encouraged renewed reliance on a county landbank to create additional, affordable housing.  She initiated a Bike Share program and introduced bike lanes changing the scale of transportation within the city.

2019 was a bad year for Dayton.  It is a little embarrassing to say any American city had a recent bad year. Think, after all,  about the 2022 experience of cities in Ukraine.  Dayton’s 2019 was a bad year for a city not at war.  You could all it a bad summer.

 The Indiana KKK scheduled a rally in Dayton for May 25. To avoid law suits and to maintain safety, Nan Whaley’s officials negotiated an agreement about weapons, march location, and face covering with the Klan.  Dayton arranged for police oversight and surveillance for the rally as well as for separating the counter-protestors. Most important, Nan Whaley and her officials created a unified Dayton. City buses, for instance, flashed “United Against Hate.”  Store owners and residents put up similar banners.

 The city spent hundreds of thousands of dollars getting prepared.  They have since sought compensation from the federal government, the state government, and the Klan.  Perhaps because of the preparation, perhaps because of Covid, there was an anti-climax.  Nine Klansmen showed up for the rally.

Two days after the mini-rally, on Memorial Day, the county that includes Dayton was hit by a series of tornados.  The thousands of volunteers who the city and the county had organized to clean up in case of a tornado were called off because of Covid.  Three thousand homes were damaged.  One neighborhood did not have power for six weeks. It took a month for residents to be allowed to apply for FEMA for assistance and considerably longer for insurance companies to agree to their responsibility.  It was a year and a half to get the first homes rebuilt.  Some never got help and had to attempt to rebuild on their own.  Recovery from the tornados, hampered by Covid, was nobody’s success.

They say bad things come in threes.  On August 4, the day after a mass shooting in El Paso Texas, a 24 year-old in Dayton, who had been fantasizing about a mass shooting for 10 years, returned with his personal armory to a bar at 1:00am.  He killed nine people and injured 27, fewer than might have been the case.  Dayton police responded within 32 seconds of the first shot.

Mayor Nan Whaley thanked the police for preventing more deaths with their quick response. She said the next days would be hard – for the city, for its officials, and mostly for the affected families.  Senator Rob Portman and Governor Mike DeWine, both Republicans, offered condolences.

The next days were hard because President Donald Trump brought his divisive presence to Dayton.  With Mayor Nan Whaley and Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, he toured the hospitals to visit with survivors. The two Democrats found Trump unresponsive to suggestions about gun safety. Trump publicly denounced violent video games and insufficient mental health services.  When the public part of the event was over, he tweeted about Brown as a failed presidential candidate and added choice insults for Beto O’Rourke who had represented El Paso. The next day he complained about the New York Times headlines.

Two years later, Nan Whaley having contemplated her future, was interviewed by the local newspaper about her plans.  She had already announced that she would not run for reelection, much as she loved the job. She had not been offered a job in the Biden administration.  She said she would not rule out running for Congress, but acknowledged she had previously considered running for governor.  A University of Cincinnati political scientist commented that well-positioned as Nan Whaley was to get the Democratic nomination, it was not a prize.  Democrats would have to reclaim the working-class vote, he said.

The local newspaper noted that if she ran for governor, she would have to target Mike DeWine. The paper noted that Nan Whaley had worked with him on tornado recovery, public health issues, and gun safety. The outgoing Mayor said that the Governor had been trapped by his party’s extreme positions.  It was particularly discouraging that a House bill to address corruption had not moved at all.

Nan Whaley has won the Democratic primary.  Her campaign website had always focused on the Governor, not her Democratic opponent.  Here is what she said in her website:   “Ohio is at a crossroads. Decades of Republican control of state government has led to scandal after scandal. More often than not, the same politicians, lobbyists, and GOP consultants re-appear in each new abuse of power, but never face repercussions. Each scandal seems worse than the last, but the basic formula stays the same: Republican elected officials enriching themselves and their allies while the rest of us foot the bill. This culture of corruption has culminated in the most egregious scandal in Ohio’s history, and the biggest statehouse scandal in the country: the $61 million HB 6 bribery and racketeering scheme that reaches the highest levels of Ohio government….

Republican politicians like Governor Mike DeWine have looked the other way while Ohio has become the worst state in the country for public corruption. They have personally and politically benefited from this broken, pay-to-play culture and are too weak to stand up to it. If Gov. DeWine or other Republicans had the power or the will to fix these problems, we would have seen action by now.

Enough is enough. Nan Whaley is running for Governor to clean up this mess and restore public trust.”

Help Nan Whaley clean up Ohio.  Help Nan Whaley make Ohio prosper.  Provide her with support and make Ohio a little purplish in 2022.


 Gubernatorial Races around the country:

Arizona.  In February a poll showed Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (Political Note #402) leading every Republican candidate except Fox anchor Kari Lake, who she trailed by a point.

 Florida.  As we’ve seen most polls show the incumbent Republican Ron DeSantis ahead of both candidates by double digits, though Charlie Crist (Political Note #463) does better than Nikki Fried.

 Georgia. Polls in April, February, and January show Democrat Stacey Abrams (Political Note #432) about even with Trump endorsee ex Senator David Perdue, but behind incumbent Brian Kemp by single digits.

 Iowa. Polls in February and March showed Incumbent Republican Kim Reynolds defeating Democratic former Secretary of State candidate Deidre DeJear by 17 points in February and by 8 points in March.

 Kansas. There were two polls in the fall.  One showed incumbent Democrat Laura Kelly (Political Note #358) defeating Attorney General Derek Schmidt by 4 points.  The other poll showed the reverse.

 Maine.  Polls last summer showed Incumbent Democrat Janet Mills (Political Note #407) defeating former governor and “Trump before there was Trump” Paul LePage by 5 to 7 points.

 Michigan. Ten Republicans are seeking to defeat Incumbent Democrat Gretchen Whitmer (Political Note #381).  Polls in January and February showed her leading former Detroit Police Chief James Craig by low single digits and anyone else by double digits.

 Minnesota.  Seven Republicans are seeking to defeat Incumbent Democrat Tim Walz.  Polls in January show the closest Republican was State Senator Michelle Benson who he was leading by 3 points.

 Nevada. Five Republicans are seeking the nomination to oppose incumbent Democrat Steve Sisolak (Political Note #414).  In two April polls, he trails former Democratic Mayor John Lee, now a Republican, by 2 points. In one poll he also trails county Sheriff Joe Lombardo by 2 points.  Steve Sisolak leads the others.

 New Mexico. Four Republicans are seeking the nomination to oppose Incumbent Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham.  In a January poll sponsored by one of the Republicans, she led him by 2 points.

 New York. Four Republicans are seeking the nomination to oppose incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul.  Two polls in April show her beating all comers by double digits.

 Ohio.  A January poll showed Democratic candidate Cincinnati mayor John Cranley trailing former Congressman Jim Renacci by 10  points, former Lt. Governor Mary Taylor by 4, and both the incumbent Mike DeWine and Farmer Joe Blystone by 2. Polling did not include Nan Whaley (Political Note #465), the eventual winner of the Democratic primary.

 Pennsylvania. Attorney General Josh Shapiro (Political Note #426) will be the Democratic nominee for this open seat. Ten candidates are seeking the Republican nomination.  According to an April poll the leaders are State Senator Doug Mastriano, former Congressman Lou Barletta, and former US Attorney William McSwain.

 South Dakota. Democrat state House Minority Leader Jamie Smith (Political Note #450) is running against the incumbent Republican Kristi Noem.

Texas. An April 1 poll shows former Congressman Democrat Beto O’Rourke (Political Note #431) trailing the Republican incumbent 42-40.

 Wisconsin. Polls from last summer showed Incumbent Democrat Tony Evers (Political Note #366) leading, by single digits, Rebecca Kleefish or Businessman Kevin Nicholson.

 Alabama.  Polls in the fall of 2021 found incumbent Kay Ivey leading any Democrat by double digits

 Alaska.  With its top four ranked voting run-off, one Democrat, three Republicans and an ex-governor Independent running, the race is impossible to predict,

 Arkansas.  In February a poll showed Sarah Huckabee Sanders leading MIT graduate and student of nuclear engineering Chris Jones (Political Note #421) by double digits.

 California.  In September, 2021, a poll showed Incumbent Democrat Gavin Newsom leading every possible Republican candidate by 20 points or more.

 Colorado  In February and in the fall, polls showed incumbent Democrat Jared Polis leading every possible Republican by double digits.

 Connecticut.  In the fall, a poll showed incumbent Democrat Ned Lamont leading two possible Republican candidates by double digits.

 Hawaii.  Democratic Governor David Ige is term limited.  Several Democrats and several Republicans are seeking to replace him.

 Idaho.  Polls last August showed incumbent Republican Brad Little leading a possible opponent by 10 points.  Democratic Academic Stephen Heidt is running and Mayor Shelby Rognstad is attempting to get on the ballot via write in.

 Illinois.  Five Republicans are seeking to unseat Incumbent Democrat JB Pritzker.  In the fall, he led a possible Republican opponent by double digits.

 Maryland. Seven Democrats and five Republicans are competing for this open seat.

 Massachusetts. Democratic Attorney General Maura Healy is the overwhelming favorite to become the next governor.

 Nebraska.  Seven Republicans are in a close race for the nomination for this open seat.  The Democratic candidate is State Senator Carol Blood.

 New Hampshire. Incumbent Republican Chris Sununu leads a Democratic opponent by double digits.

 Oklahoma.  A February poll shows Democrat Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister (Political Note #449) trailing the incumbent Kevin Stitt by 22 points.  A March poll shows her trailing by 14.

 Oregon. The House Speaker Tina Kotek and State Treasurer Tobias Read are competing for the Democratic nomination.  Seven candidates are seeking the Republican nomination.

 Rhode Island. Incumbent Democrat Dan McKee will have four opponents in the Democratic primary. The only Republican candidate appears to be Businesswoman Ashley Kalus

 South Carolina. Five Democrats including former Congressman Joe Cunningham are seeking the nomination to run against the incumbent Republican Henry McMaster.

 Vermont. No Democratic challenger has surfaced to oppose incumbent Republican Phil Scott


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