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Ohio GOP endorses controversial pastor Gary Click for state rep over Shayne Thomas, Ed Ollom

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From left: State rep candidates Ed Ollom, Shayne Thomas, Gary Click

The Ohio Republican Party voted on Friday to endorse controversial pastor Gary Click (R-Vickery) in a three-way primary race for the 88th district Ohio House seat.

Click is facing off against current Seneca County Commissioner Shayne Thomas (R-Clinton Township) and environmental engineer Ed Ollom (R-Fremont) for the 88th district seat, which is currently held by Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin).

Reineke is running for state senate and was also endorsed by the Ohio Republican Party on Friday.


“I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Ohio Republican Party along with several mayors and community leaders,” Click said in a statement following the endorsement.

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.

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.

Related: GOP state rep candidate Gary Click files to dismiss Ohio Senate candidate Melissa Ackison’s lawsuit against him

Related: Ohio Republican Party snubs Melissa Ackison, endorses Bill Reineke for 26th district state senate seat

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