BELLEVUE, Ohio — Gary Click, a Fremont-area pastor and current candidate in the Republican primary for the 88th district Ohio House seat, announced Thursday that he has gained the endorsement of Bellevue Mayor Kevin Strecker.
“I am honored to announce the endorsement of Mayor Kevin Strecker of Bellevue,” Click said in a Facebook post on his campaign page.
Click is a former community theater actor and currently works as a pastor at Fremont Baptist Temple. Click, one of the first candidates for state office from our area without any private sector experience, currently serves on the Republican State Central Committee, representing the 26th Senate district.
Strecker said he has had the opportunity to get to know CLick over the past few months and describes him as “honest, pragmatic, and insightful.”
“I am writing today to express my support for Gary Click for State Representative of the 88th Ohio House District and my intention to both vote for Gary and spread the word,” Strecker said in a written statement.
Strecker previously endorsed Democratic candidate Rachel Crooks’ bid for the same seat in 2018, when she unsuccessfully ran against incumbent State Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin).
Reineke is term-limited, meaning he can’t run for re-election to the 88th district Ohio House seat, so he’s now seeking a promotion to state senator.
In addition to Gary Click, two other candidates have announced their intentions to seek the Republican nomination for Reineke’s state representative seat, which represents most of Seneca and Sandusky counties.
Reineke has not yet made an endorsement in the primary to succeed him as state representative, and a source with knowledge of Reineke’s line of thinking has told TiffinOhio.net News that he will likely hold off on an endorsement for a while, instead focusing on his state senate race.
On the Democratic side, Fremont city councilman Christopher Liebold has started to collect petition signatures to appear on the primary ballot for the seat.
Click has come under fire after a video surfaced showing him berating a female GOP candidate for the Ohio Senate, Melissa Ackison, calling her “trash,” a “phony,” and other insults.
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 of the video which showed Click berating Ackison, State Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) distanced himself from Click.
“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 office said.
Click is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Ackison over defamation, slander, and other accusations.
Click unsuccessfully ran for Sandusky County Commissioner in 2016, losing in a three-way Republican primary.
Primary elections for both seats will take place in March 2020.