TIFFIN, OH — Former U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. announced on Friday his endorsement of Rachel Crooks, the Democratic candidate for the District 88 seat in the Ohio House of Representatives.
Holder’s national organization, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which aims to shift redistricting power and “create fair districts” in which Democrats can compete, has also endorsed Crooks.
Crooks is running against incumbent State Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) for the District 88 seat, which includes all of Sandusky County and most of Seneca County.
Crooks says redistricting reform is one of her top priorities, adding that she “won’t stop fighting until we get fairly-drawn district maps.”
“There’s no other way to put it. Since 2011, Republicans gerrymandered the country more aggressively than at any time in our history. The result? Your vote might not count the way you think it does,” the NDRC says.
In 2010, Republicans rode a midterm wave into power, winning state legislative and gubernatorial elections around the country. That gave them disproportional control over the nation’s redistricting process—where state leaders redraw congressional and state legislative lines following the nation’s Census to make sure districts include roughly the same number of people.
“In state after state, Republican legislatures and governors used this power over the process to ensure permanent Republican majorities and diminish the voting impact of Democrats and minorities,” the NDRC says.
The result was immediate: in 2012, 1.4 million more Americans voted for Democrats for Congress, but Republicans won a 33-seat majority in Congress. And the problem hasn’t gotten better. In 2016, despite winning fewer than half of all votes for Congress, Republicans again won a 33-seat majority. In battleground states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan and Virginia, the make-up of state legislatures are wildly different than the voting population.
“These gerrymandered districts have had disastrous policy consequences, leading to some of the most right-wing legislation in decades both in Congress and at the state level, including assaults on women’s health, suppressing the vote for people of color, failing to address climate change, and refusing to stand up to the epidemic of gun violence. These policies don’t reflect the majority of voters, but because Republicans have rigged the system in their favor, voters are limited in their ability to do anything about it,” Holder’s organization said.
Holder & NDRC’s endorsements are the latest additions to an expanding list of groups and community leaders that have endorsed Crooks. including: Former President Barack Obama, City of Bellevue Mayor Kevin Strecker, Gloria Steinem, the Ohio Education Association, Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, Ohio Association of Public School Employees, Sheet Metal Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers – Transportation Division (SMART-TD). EMILY, List, Run For Something, Matriots, MoveOn. BlueAmerica PAC. Launch Progress PAC. Planned Parenthood. People for the American Way. Only If You Run. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. Her campaign was also given the Gun Sense Candidate Distinction by Moms Demand Action.