Divisions are quickly revealing themselves.
This week, mayors Dan Horrigan of Akron, Frank Jackson of Cleveland, Andrew Ginther of Columbus and Wade Kapszukiewicz of Toledo picked Whaley.
Mayors of east Cleveland cities – Brad Sellers of Warrenville Heights, Michael Booker of Highland Hills and Ben Holbert of Woodmere – endorsed Cranley.
Whaley and Cranley co-founded the Ohio Mayors Alliance, a bipartisan effort to lobby state lawmakers on topics important to municipalities.
Endorsements, especially this early in a contest, often don't mean much to voters. They typically don't dial into races until shortly before voting begins. But endorsements can help candidates' ground game if they mobilize volunteers and spur donors to give money.
While Whaley and Cranley fight over the Democratic nomination, incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine is facing challenges from former Congressman Jim Renacci and Canal Winchester farmer Joe Blystone.
The primary is May 3, 2022.
Laura Bischoff is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.