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From the #MeToo movement to the ballot: Trump accuser Rachel Crooks runs for office

Emma Horsfield, Business Manager

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A record number of women are running for office this year since the Women’s March and #MeToo movement. On February 5, this list of candidates added a woman who has accused President Trump of sexual misconduct. Rachel Crooks came out during Trump’s 2016 election campaign and stated that he once kissed her without consent.

Crooks was a receptionist in Trump Tower in 2005 when the man whose name adorned the building kissed her on the cheek and then moved to her mouth. She opened up on this experience, saying, “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”

Trump has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct and the White House responded to allegations by Crooks and two other accusers saying, “The timing and absurdity of these false claims speaks volumes and the publicity tour that has begun only further confirms the political motives behind them.”

Although Crooks has been in the spotlight for speaking out against the president, she hopes that the allegations do not define her campaign. Crooks is the director of international student recruitment at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio and will be running for the Ohio state Legislature. Crooks shared with Cosmopolitan that she was inspired to run because her voice was not heard when she opened up about her experience in October of 2016.

Crooks commented that she has always been interested in politics but had never thought about running for office until now. She aims to create more jobs, ensure access to affordable health care and fix the state’s education system. She plans to use her experience working in student affairs to help the people in district 88. After spending time working with students, Crooks shared what she has learned, saying, “You need to understand where people are coming from.”

Crooks is supported by the Ohio State Democratic Party and will face incumbent Republican Bill Reineke if she wins the primary in May. Donations are already flooding in to support the campaign and, although she knows there will be backlash, Crooks commented that it is nothing she hasn’t heard before.

Women are uniting,” Crooks said. “The momentum is now. I want to be part of it.”

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From the #MeToo movement to the ballot: Trump accuser Rachel Crooks runs for office