FREMONT, OH (TiffinOhio.net News) — After TiffinOhio.net News published a bombshell report on Thursday detailing his alleged “smear campaign” against Republican candidate for Ohio Senate Melissa Ackison, a Fremont pastor is pushing back against the candidate.
On Thursday, an insider source with knowledge of the situation, who asked for their identity to be concealed, told TiffinOhio.net News that Pastor Gary Click, the leader of the Fremont Baptist Temple, is leading a new campaign that seeks to “discredit” the Ohio Senate candidacy of Melissa “M.A.” Ackison, a Marysville businesswoman and conservative activist.
Pastor Click, who also serves as a State Central Committeeman for the Ohio Republican Party and serves on Governor Mike DeWine’s Faith Advisory Council, hit back at the accusations, saying that they are coming from Melissa Ackison herself and says the claims are “fake news.”
“You don’t know how much I laughed when I saw this hit piece from Melissa!,” Click said in a public statement shortly after the report’s release.
“People are calling me laughing and saying, ‘You know [Melissa]’s the source, right?’,” Click continued. “The roadshow is fake news. She is paranoid and heard about a couple private conversations.”
“The roadshow,” as Pastor Click calls it, refers to Click’s alleged embarking on a “Stop Melissa Ackison” tour around the district, particularly in the Fremont area. “Among other things, [Click] is trying to paint a picture that Melissa is an anti-Semitic terrorist sympathizer, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” a source familiar with the “Stop Melissa Ackison” tours told TiffinOhio.net News exclusively.
Click also said that the woman who filed a police report against Melissa Ackison a few months ago for harassment, Carol Cain of Union County, was a former campaign manager for Ackison.
“[Ackison] whines to others who told me that she would stop her unprovoked attacks on me, if I would not continue posts such as Tuesdays which expose her,” Click continued. “[Ackison] isn’t that significant and can’t win. I planned to move on anyway, but here I am responding to this troubled soul once again.”
“What [Ackison] doesn’t understand is that every time she acts like this she always loses. More things get exposed and she damages her own campaign. She is self destructive and the countdown has begun,” Click said on Thursday. “She is not a true conservative and has no reliable endorsements.”
“I do say that it is hilarious watching her self implode and it’s kinda weird being stalked by a candidate for senate,” Click continued.
On Friday, Click reached out to TiffinOhio.net News with additional comments. “[Ackison] is obsessed with me for some reason. Probably cause I’m one of the few who isn’t intimidated,” Click said.
Ackison, who is running in the Republican primary for the District 26 seat in the Ohio Senate, says she is running on a “conservative Republican” platform and criticizes her only primary opponent thus far, State Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin), for “not being conservative enough.”
“He’s a moderate at best, and that’s me being kind,” Ackison said of Reineke.
The district 26 seat is currently held by State Sen. Dave Burke (R-Marysville), who is term-limited and cannot run for re-election.
Followers of Click weighed in on his comments, showing signs of confusion as to why an influential pastor is becoming so involved in a bitter GOP primary fight.
“Gary Click as a pastor, shouldn’t you be trying to diffuse this situation? As a Christian myself, I find this kind of tar and feathering to be very disturbing. Melissa Ackison is a good person. She loves America, is a inspiration to many, including myself,” an area man replied to Click’s post.
“I believe she makes some valid points. Perhaps you should search your heart and weigh whether your capable of balancing politics and your faith to Christ at the same time. Politics is a nasty business. Is it effecting your ministry or how you would usually behave? Please give it some thought. I respect both of you. Please find a way to heal this,” the man continued.
Click gained national attention in 2018 after he riled up defenders of the news media with his prayer before President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Delaware County.
“Tonight I pray that you will protect our president, and his family, with a shield of faith. Lord, that shield of faith against the fiery darts of the wicked one. Lord, against that jungle of journalism that distorts truth and distorts honesty and integrity every single day — gets in his face with lies and mistruths and innuendo,” Click said at the rally.
Click acknowledged in an interview that he agrees with some of Trump’s attacks on the media, particularly a “specific breed of predatory journalism that is uncivilized and has a preconceived story line before they write” — news organizations such as CNN.
“That was not an attack on all journalism. There are genuine journalists out there who do a fine job,” Click said. “I believe in a free press, I just don’t believe in a free pass. Who holds journalists accountable? Every one of of us need to be held accountable … I didn’t pray for God to strike (journalists) down, I did not seek violence.”