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Gary Click, pastor and candidate for state rep, issues bizarre response to lawsuit filed by Melissa Ackison

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FREMONT, OH — In response to a recent lawsuit filed by Ohio State Senate candidate Melissa Ackison (R-Marysville), controversial pastor and Ohio State House candidate Gary Click (R-Vickery) issued a bizarre statement in which he seemed to incoherently switch between first and third person writing.

This so-called lawsuit is laughable. It’s a complete publicity stunt, and it’s a sad commentary about her viability as a candidate,” Click said in a prepared statement on Monday.

“She wants me to pay her $25,000 because she says I opposed her and caused her to lose votes? If that’s how things worked, Hillary Clinton would have sued me for ten times that much,” Click continued.

Click then went on to accuse Ackison of “aligning herself” with Shayne Thomas, the current Seneca County Commissioner who plans to launch a bid in the Republican primary for the same Ohio House seat, representing Seneca and Sandusky counties, that Click is seeking.

“It is public knowledge that Melissa has aligned herself with Gary’s challenger in the Republican primary while attacking some of the good folks from the Seneca Anti-Wind Union on Facebook,” Click continued in his statement, switching to writing from a third-person point of view.

Early Wednesday morning, Click continued ranting about the lawsuit on his Facebook page, where he thanked supporters for “their prayers.”

“So this is why good people hesitate to run for office. There is no one that she will not trash or lie about in her quest for political power,” Click said of Ackison. “A clean conscience is a great answer in court and I look forward to that opportunity.”

The lawsuit claims Pastor Gary Click “ambushed” Ackison at the Republican Party booth at the Union County Fair in August. According to the lawsuit, Click stated to Ackison that she was “trash, that no one liked her, and she was a phony.” The incident was recorded and made statewide news, as noted in the lawsuit.

Since the Union County Fair incident in August, Gary Click has “repeatedly sought to disparage and/or harm [Ackison] and/or [Ackison’s] reputation by intentionally seeking out supporters of [Ackison], fellow Republicans, [Ackison’s] donors, and County Republican Central Committee members located in the 26th district,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states that Click has also “sought to intentioally disparage and/or harm [Ackison] by meeting with organizations that offer endorsements to political candidates, such as Ohio Value Voters.” According to the lawsuit, Click has told various individuals and organizations that Ackison is “anti-Semitic and a Muslim sympathizer” and that Ackison and/or her husband are in “financial despair and have filed bankruptcy.”

In addition, the lawsuit states that Click has claimed Ackison is “a criminal and/or [Ackison] has a criminal record,” all of which are “false and untrue,” according to Ackison’s legal team.

Ackison’s legal team states in the lawsuit that she is “entitled to general and special damages in an amount exceeding $25,000.”

Ackison is currently running in the Republican primary against State Rep. Bill Reineke for the 26th district Ohio Senate seat. The 26th Senate district includes all or parts of Sandusky, Seneca, Marion, Morrow, Crawford, Wyandot, and Union counties.

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