Rachel Crooks, one of the first women to go public with accusations of sexual misconduct against Donald Trump in October 2016, has announced that she’s running for the state legislature in Ohio.
Crooks is a Democrat and a first-time candidate who tells Cosmopolitan that she was inspired to run in part because of #MeToo—while many men in power have faced some consequences as a result of the accusations, Donald Trump has managed to skate through all the way to the White House. “I think my voice should have been heard then, and I’ll still fight for it to be heard now,” she said to Cosmopolitan. “Americans are really upset with politics as usual, and I want to be a voice for them.”
In October 2016, the New York Times reported the allegations lodged against Donald Trump by Crooks, and another woman, Jessica Leeds; Crooks claims that Trump allegedly kissed her on the mouth against her will after shaking her hand in greeting. Trump, as you’re surely aware, has denied the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him and will likely continue to do so until he expires.
Crooks, who is currently the director of international student recruiting at Heidelberg University, credits her decision to run to her “liberal resistance group,” Seneca County Rising. She has the support of the Ohio State Democratic Party and if she wins in May, she’ll face Republican Rep. Bill Reineke. Her platform:
She’s running in Ohio’s 88th district, a rural area outside of Toledo, to help create more jobs, ensure access to affordable health care, and fix the state’s education system. Charter schools there, she notes, are given about $1 billion each year, with what critics say is little accountability. That money, she says, would be better served in public schools.
Crooks told Cosmopolitan that while she’s sure detractors will say she’s capitalizing on her 15 minutes of fame from last October’s never-ending series of surprises, she’s ready and willing to face whatever comes her way. “I think I’ve read and seen about as negative of things as I can about myself,” she said. “Once I sat down and mulled it over, I felt like it really was a duty that I had, that I should take on this responsibility firsthand and try to make a difference for other people.”