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Democratic Challenger To DeWine Says He Should Order Masks In Schools

Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau

She said he has that power, even though a new law would allow legislators to vote to overturn it.

COVID cases numbers are continuing to climb, and the state says only around a third of kids over 12 who can be vaccinated got those shots. One of the Democrats challenging Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s re-election says she questions his motivation for not issuing a statewide mask mandate in schools.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said when DeWine saidthere’s "no appetite" for a mask mandate, he meant that there was opposition to one from his fellow Republicans who dominate the Statehouse. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley says DeWine cares more about his primary than Ohio kids.

And Whaley said while a new law allows lawmakers to overturn a governor’s mask mandate, he has the power to issue one.

“I think he could actually fight with the legislature on behalf of our children. Maybe they’d surprise us and do the right thing. And if they don’t, then yes – we should take it to the courts," Whaley said.

DeWine’s campaign manager said in a statement that it’s surprising a mayor who supports local control doesn’t believe in local control and parental choice when it comes to Ohio’s children.

And the governor's office said in a statement: “The vaccine is the most effective way to stop the spread of the virus and should remain our focus. With the vaccine widely available, and with proven methods to stop the spread of COVID in the classroom, it is clear that local school districts are in a position to review the facts and make these decisions locally. In districts where everyone doesn’t wear masks, parents and students retain the ability to choose to mask themselves regardless of district policy if that student cannot receive a vaccine due to age or, in extremely rare cases, health condition.”

Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at