UD alumna wins race for Dayton mayor, sees hope for city

By: Chris Crisanti – Chief News Writer

When Dayton mayor candidate Nan Whaley (D) came to campus in late September, she campaigned on the idea that the city is a bright light at the end of the tunnel and showing optimism for the future. On Nov. 5, she was elected mayor of Dayton.

According to an article published by the Dayton Daily News Nov. 7, the former City Commissioner “won all 48 precincts in West Dayton” while her opponent, A.J. Wagner (D), won “42 of 47 precincts in East Dayton.”

“It was really good to see Dayton has a bright future,” said Uriah Anderson, Whaley’s campaign manager. “We worked really hard and we are very humble.”

Anderson said although the campaign did not rank level of support in different areas when analyzing the results, UD still played a role in the campaign because of Whaley’s history with the university. Whaley graduated from the UD with an undergraduate degree in chemistry, then received her Master of Public Administration from Wright State University, according to her website.

Anderson said any victory Whaley accomplishes comes from a personal level.

When Whaley came to campus in late September, she noted one vision she had for the city in connection with the university was new bike trails to attract more people downtown.

Whaley added she hopes her program will cause more UD students to venture into the downtown atmosphere in an effort to connect students with the city. It could also allow students’ easier access to alternative opportunities in the Dayton community, such as internships.

Anderson said he is originally from California and is planning on residing in Dayton because of Whaley’s vision for the city.

“I met Nan on the ‘We are Ohio’ campaign in 2011,” Anderson said. “We stayed friends through it then and she sold me on the city, [where] I am moving permanently.”

Senior political science major and Whaley supporter Daniel Rajaiah said he is proud of Whaley and looks forward to her accomplishments as mayor. Rajaiah, who also served as president of the UD College Democrats, said Whaley has a long standing working relationship with UD president Daniel Curran and expects this relationship to grow.

“Nan’s campaign knocked on over 50,000 doors,” Rajaiah said. “This grassroots organizing, without a doubt, played a large role in Tuesday’s results.”

Rajaiah said he was present at the Montgomery County Democratic Party’s headquarters in downtown Dayton when Whaley won. Rajaiah said the room was packed with tired and weary volunteers, but at around 10 p.m., Whaley walked into the room to a roaring applause.

“Nan often talks about how she fell in love with the city of Dayton during her freshmen year while living in Marycrest,” Rajaiah said. “She took a bus from campus to explore and get involved with different initiatives in the city. As one of the youngest mayors in Ohio, I hope her victory will inspire many students to challenge the status quo and consider a career in public service.”

For more information about Whaley and her campaign, visit www.nanwhaley.com.