COLUMBUS, Ohio — Rachel Crooks’ allegations of sexual misconduct against Donald Trump have been dismissed by the president and his supporters, so she has a new approach to ensure her message is heard: She’s running for office.

The 35-year-old university administrator launched a campaign this week for a seat in the Ohio Legislature. The first-time candidate, a Democrat, said she was motivated in part to run because Trump has escaped consequences for the harassment alleged by her and other women.

“I think my voice should have been heard then, and I’ll still fight for it to be heard now,” she said.

Crooks is one of 14 women who have accused the Republican president of inappropriate behavior in the past, allegations Trump has denied.

Her candidacy comes as women are speaking up about harassment in the workplace through the #MeToo movement and as state legislatures across the U.S. take steps to strengthen their own harassment policies.

An Associated Press tally shows 15 state lawmakers across the country have left office since the start of 2017 after being accused of sexual misconduct.


Crooks said her interest in running for office goes beyond her experience with the president. She sees herself as someone who will fight for others struggling for representation.

Crooks told the AP: “My situation with Trump and him not being held accountable by politicians, him not being willing to acknowledge his actions and his willingness to ignore what we had to say, that was sort of the last straw for me.”

Crooks’ bid for office is part of a wider anti-Trump undercurrent in elections since the president’s inauguration.

The state legislative arm for Democrats says the party has flipped 35 seats previously held by Republicans in contested state legislative elections across the country.

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