Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley today announced that she is withdrawing from the race for Ohio Governor and endorsing former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray for the Democratic nomination.

“I got in this race because I truly believe that Ohio is at a critical moment in time, and our state needs to move forward in bold, new ways,” said Mayor Whaley. “The GOP has been recycling bad ideas in Columbus for 25 years, and it’s time for a better future.”

During Mayor Whaley’s eight-month campaign, she has pushed proposals that reflect the priorities of everyday Ohioans, including expanding access to education and job training, universal pre-K for every four-year-old and holding the big pharmaceutical companies accountable for the opioid crisis.

As she stepped down from the race, Whaley endorsed Cordray for Governor, citing the need for Democrats to come together in order to win the Governor’s Office and down-ballot seats in November.

“Our state needs progressive and innovative leaders at the helm,” said Whaley. “Rich is a champion for everyday people who has stood up to the big banks, payday lenders and special interests. He’s ready to fight for Ohioans – for the good-paying jobs, for health care, for a better future.”

Cordray stood in solidarity with Whaley and thanked her for her thoughtful leadership during the race so far and promised to continue championing the progressive platform Whaley strongly advocated.

“I have come to admire Nan’s strong leadership and her blend of progressive principles and practical results. She is a friend of mine and now of many across Ohio. She will play an important role in helping us win first in May and then again in November,” said Cordray.

Earlier this month, Whaley was sworn in for a second term as Mayor of Dayton, a post she’ll continue to hold as she advocates for Democratic statewide and local candidates on the November 2018 ballot.

Schiavoni Reacts

State Senator Joe Schiavoni, another Democratic candidate for governor, released the following statement in response to Whaley’s decision to end her campaign and support Cordray:

“Nan Whaley is a good person who ran an energetic campaign that was inspiring to young people, women, and voters across the state. I consider her a friend. That’s why it’s extremely disappointing to see her endorse the ‘anointed’ ticket. This approach is why Democrats have been losing.

“I’m not in this for my career – I’m in it to make life better for Ohio families. That means I can’t be bought or pressured into taking the easy path. The reality is that Rich Cordray can’t win back voters we lost in 2016. He hasn’t been in Ohio, and people will see he doesn’t have any real plans. I’m going to make my case to Ohio voters. They should decide what’s best for their state.”