This past week, our current State Representative, Erica Crawley, was chosen to fill the Franklin County Board of Commissioners vacancy. During her time as Representative, she has been a tireless advocate and champion for women’s reproductive health, equal pay, aiding thousands of those negatively impacted by COVID-19, and assisting veterans in getting the vital services and support they deserve for defending our country.

After Representative Crawley was appointed Commissioner, I realized that we had lost another strong voice in the Ohio House of Representatives. Her determination and passion are irreplaceable – but the residents of Columbus and its surrounding villages and townships deserve an advocate for them. Today, I am excited to share that I, Marc Gofstein, am seeking to fill that vacancy and become the next State Representative of Ohio’s 26th District.

I am running because Ohioans are battling restrictions on voting rights and unfair legislative districts, attacks on a woman’s right to choose, cuts to our labor unions, and the ability to find good jobs to put food on the table. Instead of focusing on these issues, the Ohio Legislature is giving tax cuts to the wealthiest Ohioans. They don’t need a tax cut – families who have had to work multiple jobs to survive, those who suffer because they have inadequate access to healthcare, and those who battle food insecurity – they deserve a tax cut.

Ohio needs someone who has diverse areas of experience. Most of you may know me when I served in the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office as the Public Information Officer, but my background is much broader. I have also served as a Community Development Block Grant Commissioner, a District Director for a State Assembly, and a Constituent Services Aide. I have enjoyed serving on the boards of LGBTQ Democratic Clubs here in Columbus. I have been an active member of the Human Rights Campaign, consistently advocating for LGBTQ equality. These experiences have taught me how to work within the State Legislature to make meaningful changes, how Community Development Block Grants affect families that need help the most, and how a little empathy and understanding can transform lives.

As a proud, married gay man, I have fought for LGBTQ rights since coming out in 1988 and will continue to fight for my LGBTQ family. As the only LGBTQ member of the Ohio House, I will be more empathetic to all Ohioans’ challenges. I will fight against the racist attacks on the right to vote. I will fight all attempts to restrict a woman’s right to choose. I will fight for affordable childcare. I will fight for a living wage and advocate for our labor unions that do the same. I will fight for access to affordable and extensive healthcare. I will fight for a comprehensive plan to fight homelessness. I will fight for good access to public transportation.

I will fight against bad policing. As the former Public Information Officer for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, I have seen firsthand how we can improve our police force. I have spoken out about the systematic racism in law enforcement and the need for genuine, practical, and urgent reform. Calling out the faults within our law enforcement system cost me my job – and I am damn proud of that.

Now let me be clear, I do not want to defund the police. Instead, I want to rethink how we fund our law enforcement. Our law enforcement personnel must have better training, focusing on de-escalation, crisis intervention, and, crucially, using lethal force as an absolute last resort. I never have and never will shy away from fighting for more vital law enforcement responsibility and accountability.

Ohio’s 26th District deserves a representative who is not afraid to lose their job fighting for them. We deserve a representative who will help their families and children prosper. We deserve a representative who will not simply hand over tax cuts to billionaires. We deserve a representative who will fight for full economic and social equality. As Representative, I will bring their voice to the fight for a better Ohio and everyone in the 26th District.

With your help, we can bring my experience, advocacy, and voice to our State Legislature and continue to fight for the people of Ohio.

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