Liberty Township Trustee Melanie Leneghan became the 14th candidate to declare her intentions to fill Ohio’s 12th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The already-crowded field of candidates is seeking to replace Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa Township, who resigned from Congress earlier this month. He left his seat to take a position as the new head of the Ohio Business Roundtable.
Leneghan announced her candidacy Saturday afternoon to a crowd of over 70 constituents at the Concord Township Hall.
“We need strong conservative leaders who will promote the policies of this president now,” Leneghan said. “I’m running for Congress to be a strong conservative voice for the 12th district.”
Holly Adams, a Liberty Township candidate in 2017, said in her introduction of Leneghan, “I have nicknamed Melanie the female Donald Trump.”
Leneghan said the conservative message is one of personal responsibility, limited government power that challenges corruption and waste, and stands for the sanctity of life and the protection of the unborn.
“I believe in those things and I know that is what is going to restore our country,” she said.
Leneghan said her goal is “to continue and promote the movement to replace a failed and corrupt establishment with a new government controlled by us the American people the way it was designed.” She said the current establishment has brought the government to a halt and has made “economic and social decisions” that have stripped away the nation’s wealth and values.
Leneghan proclaimed there is a narrow window of opportunity to restore the government back to the people.
“I’m running for Congress to stand behind this president and promote the policies that will restore our republic which is slowly and dangerously being stripped away from us,” she said. “That is why I’m running now.”
Leneghan, a six-year veteran as a Liberty Township trustee, was raised in Youngstown, Ohio in what she said were humble beginnings. She said she started working by delivering newspapers when she was 9 years old and hasn’t stopped working since.
“I developed a very strong work ethic very young,” she said. “The definitions of need and want was described to me very often. So from a very young age, I knew if I wanted anything and I didn’t need it I would have to work hard.”
Leneghan and her husband Patrick have two daughters.
Who else is running?
Republican candidates who have already filed to run include Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien, State Sens. Kevin Bacon and Troy Balderson, Worthington businessman Brandon Grisez, Worthington real estate investor Jon Halverstadt, and Galloway resident John Adams.
Democrats that have filed for the 12th District race include John Russell, a Galena farmer; Ed Albertson, a Granville businessman who lost to Tiberi in 2016; Newark school teacher John Peters; health care professional Doug Wilson of Mansfield; former Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott; and Dublin resident Crystal Lett, a children and family advocate and founder of The Salon Lab in Columbus.
Newark attorney Jonathan Veley is running as an independent.
The deadline for candidates to file for the election is Feb. 7. The primary is scheduled for May 8. The 2018 general election is Nov. 6.
A special election to fill the remainder of Tiberi’s term in 2018 has been scheduled for Aug. 7.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.