This Gay Ohioan Democrat Could Beat the King of the Lobbyists and Take Back Congress

 
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With only a week before the Ohio primary, we’re proud to announce our endorsement of the fantastic Democratic LGBTQ+ candidate, Rick Neal. Rick has proved himself to be an effective leader with highly progressive views and the will to make them a reality. He’s running for Ohio’s 15th Congressional District, and he’s made it clear that he won’t let lobbyists, career politicians, or Trump stand in his way.

People’s character should be judged by their actions. Rick has dedicated his life to the greater good. He is a former Peace Corps volunteer; his work as a teacher and international aid worker has seen him work in Afghanistan, Morocco, Cambodia, and Congo. He’s run non-profits to ensure people have access to clean water, working hospitals, and refugee camps. In recent years, Rick flew to Liberia to help battle the Ebola crisis.

A life spent in dedication of others is not only testament to Rick’s bravery and moral compass, but also a strong indication that he’s learned some important teachings as he experienced the world. In his own words, “I learned valuable lessons during my many years spent in the field: hire good people and trust them to do good work, manage carefully the money sent in by donors and build on existing efforts instead of reinventing the wheel. But the most important lesson was to not be afraid to stand up and take action when called, no matter the obstacles.”

After arriving home in the USA, Rick married his husband in 2007 and adopted two girls. Here, his life took on a rather different form when he became a stay-at-home dad. His marriage wasn’t recognized by the government, so he and his husband Tom joined the fight for civil rights and marriage equality.

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Now, as a passionate public servant, unbeholden to special interests, Rick is ready to continue the good fight. His campaign’s platform is based on the following admirable goals:

Better Jobs with Better Pay – Increasing the living wage to modern standards; increasing job training; ending Republican threats to unionised labor; investments in educations and infrastructure; and ending tax scams.

Quality, Affordable Healthcare for All – Protecting and building upon the Affordable Care Act; expanding Medicare; standing up to big insurance companies; ending Ohio’s opioid epidemic; and immediately restoring the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Supporting a Green Future – Investing in environmentally friendly infrastructure; using smart technology; protecting public lands from big oil and coal; making Ohio a solar and wind turbine manufacturing hub; and bringing internet connectivity to rural communities.

Ending Discrimination – Supporting equal pay for equal work; helping women and women of color; listening to accusations of sexual harassment; fighting immigration bans; battling for the DREAM Act; and providing other LGBTQ+ citizens with the civil rights protections they’re constitutionally entitled to.

Protecting the Older Generation – Fighting against cuts to social security; investing to lower drug prices; and keeping promises to the retired.

Ending Big Money Politics – Protecting true democracy by working with honesty and integrity; fighting foreign destabilizing influences; combating the poisonous influence of the ultra-rich; guaranteeing voter rights; abolishing unfair gerrymandering; and ending lobbyists’ control over our political system.


“The only way we’re going to get Washington working for people again is if we cut off the spigot of dirty money.” – Rick Neal


If Rick wins his primary election next week, it’s this final issue that may define his campaign. While Rick wants to raise Wall Street taxes, refuses to take handouts from lobbyists, and is in favor of protecting private lands from the Trump administration sell-off, the Republican incumbent Steve Stivers represents the opposite viewpoint.

Considered the king of the lobbyists, Stivers is the top political fundraiser for House Republicans. His close ties to Wall Street, big insurance, big pharma, and the oil industry are far from innocuous. Rick refuses to take a dime from these industries who seek to distort our Democracy for their own selfish gains.


“Now, I’m driven to confront new threats, and to stand up for what’s right. I’m not a career politician, but I’m a passionate public servant. I’m not beholden to special interests, to lobbyists or to the establishment. I stand with Ohioans, and I’m ready to keep working for a better future – for everyone.”


We wish Rick all the best in the coming elections, a battle of David versus Goliath proportions. If you or people you know are in Ohio, we urge you to support Rick Neal’s mission. He’s driven by what’s morally right, he’s ready to stand up to the establishment, he’s spent his whole life working for the good of the human race, he’s smart, he’s dedicated; he’s progressive, and it looks like he knows how to make some really great pancakes.

For more about Rick’s campaign, visit http://rickneal.com. To donate, visit https://secure.actblue.com/donate/rick-neal-for-congress-1.

This interview was conducted by Alex Sinclair Lack for RunWithPride.org. If you’d like to help us in the fight for equality, click here.

 
Alex Sinclair Lack