Well found kind of a workaround. Setting the manage workflow permission allowed the editor to use my workflow path. However, that allowed the editor publishing permissions and reject permissions even if it follows the workflow.
Update: the only way to get the editor to follow the workflow at all is with the manage workflow permission. This completely defeats the purpose of having a workflow at all if someone with only editor permissions can skip all the required steps to publish a page on my site. Will be opening a support ticket for this and will update accordingly.