TIFFIN, OH (TiffinOhio.net News) — Just days before controversial Fremont pastor Gary Click is set to officially announce his candidacy for the 88th district seat in the Ohio House of Representatives, reports throughout the district indicate that overall support for Click’s candidacy is low, even among Republicans, and some local GOP officials have even spoken out against the pastor.
Back when rumors were flying high about Click’s potential candidacy, Seneca County Republican Party chairwoman Vanessa Treft said in a voicemail that Click is only running for State Representative “for his own personal gain.”
“[Click] is only doing all this bullsh*t for his own personal gain, and I’m f*cking tired of it,” Treft said.
In addition, following statewide media reports just a few weeks ago of Click “getting in the face of” and berating GOP Ohio Senate candidate Melissa Ackison, current State Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) has distanced himself from the pastor.
“Mr. Click was not asked to attend the fair on behalf of our campaign and does not represent the campaign,” the statement from Reineke’s campaign said.
Click is running to succeed Reineke as the 88th district state representative, which includes Seneca and Sandusky counties. Reineke is currently running for State Senate.
So far, Click is the only announced candidate in the race for state representative in the 88th district.
Click’s behavior received statewide backlash, with many asking “how a pastor could act so cruel.”
“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 said to Click on Facebook regarding the video.
“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.
When asked about his comments on Ackison, Click replied, “Personally, I’m immune to her. I’ve ignored her for over a year. My calling is to speak up for others. She reaks [sic] havoc every where she goes and with everyone she touches. She hurts people and I am giving them a voice.”
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.”
Click is set to announce his candidacy on Thursday, August 15 at 6 PM at the Live Edge Center in Fremont.