By Jim Siegel
One of the women who came forward to accuse President Donald Trump of sexual harassment that took place before his election plans to run for an state House seat in northern Ohio, House Democrats say.
Rachel Crooks, a former Trump Tower receptionist who accused Trump of forcibly kissing her in 2005, is expected to file today to run in the 88th House District, where she will challenge two-term Rep. Bill Reineke, R-Tiffin.
Trump has generally denied the accusations made by Crooks and roughly a dozen other women. Crooks has called Trump a "pathological liar."
Aaron Fisher, executive director of the Ohio House Democratic Caucus, said he thinks that Crooks' entrance into the race makes the seat a pickup opportunity for the party, which is trying to climb its way out of a deep minority. The district includes Sandusky and Seneca counties.
Crooks, of Tiffin, who currently works as a foreign students recruiter for Tiffin University, had expressed interest in running for office, and House Democrats have been actively recruiting her for about a month, Fisher said.
"She has the opportunity to excite a lot of voters," Fisher said. She has gotten national attention in telling her story, including a spot on NBC's "Megyn Kelly Today" in December.
The White House responded to Crooks and two other Trump accusers in that interview, saying "These false claims, totally disputed in most cases by eyewitness accounts, were addressed at length during last year's campaign, and the American people voiced their judgment by delivering a decisive victory."
Reineke ran unopposed in 2016 and Trump won the district. In 2014, his first run for the Ohio House, Reineke, an auto dealership owner, won by 19 points.
(c)2018 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)