June 15, 2021

PHILADELPHIA — Today, 314 Action Fund announced its endorsement of Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley for governor of Ohio. This endorsement, one of 314 Action’s firsts in the 2022 cycle, is a strong sign of the faith the organization — which works to elect pro-science and pro-truth candidates to office — has in Whaley’s strength as a candidate in this key race. Whaley would be the first woman elected governor in Ohio.

“With the Republicans locked into what is shaping up to be a messy primary race, it’s critical that Democrats get together and nominate a strong candidate like Nan, who has proved herself as a successful agent for positive change in Ohio,” said Shaughnessy Naughton, president of 314 Action. “From her management of the opioid crisis in her city of Dayton to her leadership following a horrific act of gun violence, Nan’s strength comes from her determination to make lives better and help her community. We have an opportunity to elect a smart, facts-first leader governor of Ohio in 2022, and the best way to do that is to come together and make sure Nan is on that ballot next November.”

“Right now in Ohio we’re seeing how anti-science, extreme special interests can pull the levers of government to the detriment and embarrassment of our state. Ohioans deserve a Governor who will stand up for facts and make sure that data and science are at the root of all governing decisions,” said Mayor Nan Whaley. “I’m honored to have the endorsement of 314 Action Fund in the fight to make sure Ohio is a place where everyone can thrive, no matter their zip code.”

Polling in Ohio has shown Governor Mike DeWine in an unusually weak position for an incumbent ahead of his planned re-election bid in 2022, setting up the state for a messy, race-to-the-bottom Republican primary. One recent poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling on behalf of 314 Action Fund and polled general election voters across Ohio, shows that if there were a gubernatorial election today, just 34% would vote to re-elect Gov. DeWine, with 48% responding that they think it’s time for someone new.

Through the 2020 election cycle, 314 Action Fund’s independent expenditure arm spent over $11.5 million, including significant expenditures in several primary contests. Ahead of this gubernatorial election, 314 Action Fund and its over six million grassroots supporters will fight to ensure that Whaley is the Democratic nominee and that she defeats any Republican challenger in the general election. 

In 2022, 314 Action Fund will raise that bar, and aim to spend $50 million to elect scientists across all levels of government, with initial targets of seven U.S. Senate races, forty U.S. House races, and twenty-one statewide races — including the Ohio gubernatorial election. 


Nan Whaley came from a family that raised her to know the value of determination and hard work. Her dad was an Ironworker, and her mom worked at a laundromat close to their family home. Whaley was the first person in her family to graduate from college, earning a chemistry degree from the University of Dayton.

As mayor of Dayton since 2013, Whaley has led the city through some of its most pressing challenges by following the facts and fighting for evidence-based policies. Whaley has focused the city government’s resources on combating the opioid crisis and successfully reducing overdose deaths by 50 percent. Under her leadership, the city established universal, high-quality pre-K for the city’s children. In the wake of the mass shooting that killed nine people in Dayton in 2019, Whaley combined empathetic leadership with a do-now attitude to bring attention to the urgent need for common sense legislation to curb gun violence, one of the biggest public health crises facing our nation.

Whaley is running for governor because corruption by Ohio politicians and power brokering by corporate interest groups have left Ohioans’ voices unheard in Columbus. Whaley is stepping up because Ohioans deserve a leader they can trust to do the right thing — in their interests, not in those of big corporations.


314 Action Fund is powered by a grassroots community of over six million people working to elect scientists, doctors, and STEM professionals who will use science and facts to address our most pressing issues like climate change and health care. In 2018 and 2020, we played a pivotal role in flipping the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, electing eleven Democratic scientists to federal office, as well as over 100 to state and local offices. In 2021 and 2022, 314 Action Fund will continue working to elect science leaders and defeat climate deniers in Congress and legislatures across the country.