The brutal Republican primary fight between State Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) and small business owner Melissa Ackison (R-Marysville) for the 26th district state senate seat has essentially gone on hiatus amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, with the candidates avoiding attacks against each other for the first time in what has been called the most contentious primary race in Ohio state legislative history.
While Reineke, who is currently serving his third term as state representative for all of Sandusky County and the majority of Seneca County, has gone back to keeping a relatively low profile, Ackison is turning her attention to new targets: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton.
Ackison has previously called for Gov. DeWine’s impeachment over his response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the stay-at-home order and reworking of Ohio’s primary election that was originally scheduled for March 17.
“The Ohio General Assembly must act! Governor DeWine is destroying the American ideal of ‘Ruling by Consent of the Governed!’ In America, the PEOPLE choose who represents them, and government does not decide when they choose!” the petition, shared on Ackison’s campaign Facebook page, reads in part.
Ackison stated in a post dated March 26 that she has been “praying Dr. Acton will use this opportunity to NOW tell the TRUTH and OPEN OHIO BACK UP!”
As recently as Tuesday, Ackison again called for DeWine to ease restrictions in the state — just a day before new data was released showing Ohio is “flattening the curve” by practicing social distancing and staying at home.
“When will Governor/Dr. Do the RIGHT THING and get OHIO BACK TO WORK!” Ackison stated in a Facebook post Tuesday evening. “Stop the propaganda and fear mongering and get OUR PATRIOTS back to WORK Dewine!”
Additionally, Ackison called on Fran DeWine, the First Lady of Ohio, to “fire up the oven” and “bake a cake and celebrate with an ice cream social.”
Ackison has previously accused Dr. Amy Acton, who was appointed to direct the Ohio Department of Health by DeWine in 2019, of being an “Obama holdover” and claimed she “fundraised for Planned Parenthood.”
“This is our republic. Not theirs. Again, Dr. Amy Acton making decisions for the state of Ohio, is the same doctor, the same woman who issued the license not once, but twice, to radical late-term abortionists,” Ackison claimed. “Yet her specialty is supposed to be infant mortality. How does that work? This is rigged.”
DeWine’s actions have been recognized as some of the most aggressive throughout the country, with The Washington Post writing that his response has become a “national guide to the crisis.” His administration has closed K-12 schools, issued a stay-at-home order for non-essential tasks, ordered the closure of businesses deemed non-essential, and more.
The 26th district state senate seat includes Seneca, Sandusky, Marion, Morrow, Crawford, Wyandot, and Union counties. It is currently represented by Sen. Dave Burke (R-Marysville), who is term-limited and has endorsed Reineke for the seat.
Whoever wins the Republican primary — Ackison or Reineke — will go on to face Democratic challenger Craig Swartz, of Upper Sandusky, in the general election for the 26th district state senate seat.