The Ohio 2022 Governor Race Overview


Brad Perry, Staff Writer

“I feel like a putz for believing in [Mike DeWine],” Toledo mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said in response to DeWine’s new gun policy in schools. “He gave in like a coward, and he made the problem worse” (The Columbus Dispatch).

If there was one issue other than abortion to split voters, this would be it. House Bill 99 passed in the late spring in the wake of the Uvalde shootings in Texas, where 19 students and two teachers were tragically killed. The bill allows for “individuals to convey deadly weapons and dangerous ordnance in a school safety zone.” The part that raises eyebrows is most certainly that school officials can be “exempt . . . [from] a peace officer basic training requirement” (House Bill 99). However, in Mike DeWine’s defense, “[Education] boards could choose to mandate more but this isn’t required” (Ohio Capital Journal, even going further to emphasize that “’This is a local choice’” (DeWine, Mike).

Now, of course, there are many more hot-button issues that will affect the outcome of the election come November. But this one especially strikes close to home with most of the audiences here: students. No matter the opinion on House Bill 99, one thing should remain clear; bills such as this would never have arisen at all if there weren’t as many school shootings across the country. In fact, over 311,000 K-12 students have “experienced gun violence at school since Columbine” (Washington Post). Opinions on the solutions to fix this ever-growing epidemic remain divided along party lines, but it is crucial to not lose sight of why these topics are even being discussed in the first place. The origin, going back to before the first major school shooting, could be traced to several key government actions or inactions. The major ones that consistently make headlines are what qualifies one to legally own a gun, universal lack of mental health care, and poor law enforcement in school districts. Every single issue can be traced back to a bill that may or may not have passed. For gun control, H.R.7910 – Protecting Our Kids Act was recently passed by President Biden to “provide for an increased age limit on the purchase of certain firearms, prevent gun trafficking, modernize the prohibition on untraceable firearms, encourage the safe storage of firearms, and for other purposes” (H.R.7910). H.R.7666, which is still in the process of being approved by the senate as of September 2022, will work “to amend the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize certain programs relating to mental health and substance use disorders, and for other purposes” (H.R.7666). And finally, for police enforcement, proper funding is the easiest way for government officials to help the system. Here in Ohio, Gov. DeWine awarded “5.7 million to support local law enforcement” (Mike DeWine).

Now how does all of this have to do with the upcoming midterm? Well, put simply, each of the above issues has been and will continue to be voted on by elected officials.  So, for the upcoming election for governor, it is important to keep in mind personal opinions of the issues, and the promises of each candidate to what issues will be focused on.

The two Ohio candidates for governor, Nan Whaley (D) and Mike DeWine (R), have views that fall mainly along their respective party’s mainstream ideals. However, some ideals do vary slightly from their parties. For more information, the best option would be to check the official websites for Nan Whaley and Mike DeWine.

Current polling still shows DeWine with a substantial lead, but there is still a month between now and November 8th. As always, for the most recent polling information, head to

Stay tuned for more coverage of the other major elections in the House and Senate in the coming weeks!