LIMA — Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, who entered the gubernatorial contest Wednesday to challenge Gov. Mike DeWine’s handling of the FirstEnergy nuclear bribery scandal and failure to enact gun reform legislation, met with supporters in Lima on Friday to talk about universal background checks, ethics reform and issues important to the Lima community.
“One of the reasons why I decided to run for governor is because I believe that the people of Ohio deserve better,” Whaley said. “And what we’ve seen over the past three decades is scandals that continue to pile up.”
The $60 million nuclear bribery scandal involving former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and FirstEnergy is the latest example, which Ohioans are paying for through their electric bills so politicians can “line their political pockets or get fancy vacation homes,” Whaley said.
“We need the folks in Columbus to do the work of what’s affecting our communities, which people are getting paid enough,” Whaley said. “They’re working longer hours, their bills are going up. They’re worried about their kids finding a good job to stay in the community if they choose.”
Whaley was disappointed when DeWine failed to enact gun reform legislation, instead signing Ohio’s Stand Your Ground law which “makes a community more dangerous,” she said during a roundtable with supporters at Vibe Coffeehouse and Café.
Whaley touted her support for universal background checks to close loopholes that allow people who shouldn’t have access to guns to purchase them anyway.
“This is not about responsible gun owners,” Whaley said. “We have tons of responsible gun owners in Ohio. But we want to make sure that guns don’t get in the hands of people that shouldn’t have them, and the background checks is the way to do that.”
Whaley, who met with small business owners in Cleveland earlier this week, said capital and pandemic relief should be more accessible to businesses recovering from the pandemic.
“It shouldn’t be who you know,” she said. “It should be easy to get, and we think it’s important for the state to pay attention.”