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Hearings to take place Thursday for complaints against GOP Ohio Senate candidate Melissa Ackison Staff




COLUMBUS, OH ( News) — Ohio Elections Commission hearings in regards to complaints filed against GOP Ohio Senate candidate Melissa Ackison are set to begin Thursday morning.

The hearing, originally scheduled in September, was reportedly rescheduled for Thursday due to a scheduling conflict for Ackison.

According to the Ohio Elections Commission, a total of three complaints have been filed against candidate Melissa Ackison, a small business owner and conservative activist from Marysville.

The complaints were filed by James Cline, of Tiffin, and Chelsea Wynegar, of Marysville, both of whom have connections to State Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin)’s campaign for the 26th district Ohio Senate seat.

James Cline

The 26th district is currently represented by Sen. Dave Burke, of Marysville, who is term-limited and cannot run for re-election. The district includes all or part of Sandusky, Seneca, Wyandot, Crawford, Morrow, Marion, and Union counties, a district that Ms. Ackison referred to as “God’s country.”

According to the Ohio Elections Commission, James Cline filed two complaints against Ackison, one regarding the improper display of a disclaimer on campaign materials. Ackison allegedly printed and displayed campaign literature without the required “Paid for by…” disclaimer, according to the complaint.

Cline is the treasurer of the Seneca County Republican Party, which voted in July to endorse Reineke’s campaign in an unusually early move.

Another complaint by Cline alleges that Ackison filed her designation of treasurer form with the OEC late.

The third complaint against Ackison was filed by Chelsey Wynegar, the daughter of Union County Republican Party Central Committeewoman Barb Phillips. Wynegar’s complaint alleges that Ackison failed to file complete and accurate paperwork with the Ohio Elections Commission.

Chelsey Wynegar (Facebook)

Cline, Wynegar, and Phillips all have one thing in common: they’ve either endorsed or publicly announced their support for Reineke.

The hearing before the Ohio Elections Commission, now scheduled for Thursday, November 21, 2019 in Columbus, are where all three complaints against Ackison’s campaign will be reviewed. At the hearing, Ackison and the parties who filed the complaints are expected to be present.

The complaints come after police reports were filed against Ackison by supporters of Reineke’s candidacy.

“My filthy rich political opponent [is] using one of his supporters to attempt to file a police report against me for unwanted emails about my candidacy,” Ackison claimed in a post to Facebook in June.

Ackison explained in a Facebook live video that a supporter of Bill Reineke contacted police to file a harassment report … after receiving a campaign e-mail.

“Week one after my campaign announcement, I received a telephone call from authorities here in my county,” Ackison said in the video. “One of [Reineke]’s supporters contacted the sheriff and wanted to file an official police report for harassment.”

Ackison greets supporters at a local fair

“I said to the officer, I said… I don’t understand what you’re talking about. I’ve never made any physical threat to anyone, I haven’t hit anyone,” Ackison continued.

The Marysville businesswoman added that the police finally explained to Reineke’s alleged supporter that “campaign e-mails do not constitute harassment.”

Ackison, who ran in the 2018 Republican primary for U.S. Senate, and came in third behind Jim Renacci and Mike Gibbons, describes herself on her Facebook profile as a “Liberty loving, gun toting, Bible carrying, 80/90’s hip hop enthusiast & habitual line stepper.”

She previously criticized Reineke after attending his campaign announcement event, calling him an “establishment candidate.”

“[Reineke] has ZERO major legislative accomplishments under his belt as a state rep, is rated as a “somewhat conservative” and is another wealthy stately looking gentleman (not that I ever expect any level of diversity),” Ackison said.

Ackison ran unsuccessfully for the Republican Party’s nomination in 2018 in hopes of going head-to-head with Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. She placed third in the primary with 13 percent of the vote as then-U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci picked up the endorsement of the party’s campaign apparatus, losing miserably in the general election.

Attempts to reach out to Bill Reineke’s campaign for comment were not returned.

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