I was pretty hesitant when my husband, Rick Neal, first told me he was going to run for Congress, but not really surprised. You see, he has spent decades running toward fires, not away from them. He served in the Peace Corps in Africa, worked with refugees in war zones around the world, and after we met and married, was on the front lines in Ohio fighting for the right to adopt our own children, Amoret (9) and Sophia (6).
And then, in 2014, when people were freaking out about the Ebola epidemic, Rick calmly proclaimed that he was going to Liberia to help. I was not happy, because I was scared like everyone else. And, frankly, I had no idea how I was going to do the girls' hair while he was away (Rick did their hair). But he went, and he came back, and another chapter of being married to an action adventure hero was written.
Then came the 2016 election. Our entire family campaigned for Hillary Clinton. We were convinced she would win. She didn't. I cried for two weeks after the election. However, my husband saw the fire. He had lived in countries run by despots and dictators. He saw those traits in our new president. And, he knew exactly what he was going to do: run for Congress against the chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Steve Stivers, in a gerrymandered district. Steve's big thing is "civility," which he talks about all the time. But for a man who voted to repeal the ACA, and who earned zero ratings from Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, and the Human Rights Campaign (while scoring an A rating from the NRA), civility doesn't seem to mean very much at all.
The campaign has not been easy on our family. A neo-Nazi group targeted our home to let us know they knew where we lived. But Rick responded to that as I expected, calmly, confidently and courageously.
I am incredibly proud of him. And I am thrilled that he is showing our girls what courage looks like. We just hope that every person who cares about our democracy, our families, and our future will vote in November. Because if you do, we will win. And when Rick wins, he will be part of a new Congress that will set things right for everyone, not just a select few.
The midterms are just weeks away. The Grote-Neal family is all in!
Check our Rick Neals' campaign video, which went viral earlier this year, below!
Visit the Rick Neal for U.S. Congress website.