FREMONT, Ohio — Controversial pastor Gary Click (R-Vickery), a candidate in the Republican primary race for the 88th district Ohio House seat, is being accused of “betraying” the Fremont Exchange Club.
The Fremont Exchange Club describes itself as “a group of men and women working together to make our community a better place to live through programs of service in Americanism, Community Service, Youth Activities, and it’s national project Child Abuse Prevention.”
A former president of the group, David Thornbury, spoke out in a Facebook post Thursday, accusing Click of betraying the club.
“Gary, I have always considered you a friend but you betrayed the Fremont Exchange Club. When I was president you joined our club because you said you were passionate about helping children who were victims of child abuse, investing in our youth and giving back to our community,” Thornbury said. “I now know after you came to our meetings for over a year and never paid your dues after repeated statements were mailed, emails sent, and phone calls made that your intentions were not genuine. It was all for self political gain.”
Thornbury said in his initial post that Click still owed the club a significant amount of money for his unpaid dues. Later, however, Thornbury shared an update in the comments, indicating that he was notified Click had finally paid his dues to the organization “910 days” — nearly 2 and a half years — late.
“Voters beware, in my experience and from what the Exchange Club members experienced, Gary can’t be trusted,” Thornbury said.
Attempts to reach Click for comment were unsuccessful.
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), who is running for state senate.
The 88th Ohio House district includes all of Sandusky County and the majority of Seneca County.
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 the area without any private sector experience, currently serves on the Republican State Central Committee, representing the 26th Senate district.
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.