We’ve written before about the alarming number of state lawmakers who harbor anti-vaccination views. In 2018, dozens of candidates sought and received the endorsement of the largest anti-vaccination group in Ohio, the Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom. This year is proving no different.
Last week, OAMF released their endorsements for 2020 and they’re quite enlightening.
Some vulnerable incumbents and challengers in competitive districts have sought the group’s highly controversial stamp of approval, demonstrating a willingness to introduce and vote for anti-vaccination legislation, and it’s not just the crazy extremists you might expect.
Here are the Republicans running in competitive legislative races in the fall who applied for and received an endorsement from OAMF:
- HD24 – Pat Manley
- HD27 – Tom Brinkman
- HD28 – Chris Monzel
- HD43 – J. Todd Smith (who says he’s not running for re-election)
- HD59 – Don Manning
- HD99 – Sarah Fowler
- SD4 – George Lang
- SD4 – Candice Keller
- SD6 – Niraj Antani
- SD24 – Matt Dolan
Bold indicates a race without an anti-vaccination incumbent. If any of these individuals win in November, it would only increase the grip of this anti-science, anti-public health viewpoint in the Ohio legislature.
For the most part, Democrats refused to respond to the group’s urgings to complete their candidate questionnaire. A few did, however, taking the opportunity to make a strong case that vaccines actually work, Brigid Kelly and Mark Fogel among them.
Arguably, the best and most direct response came from write-in candidate for House District 2, Democrat Sam Grady, who took direct aim at the group and its misguided beliefs in his statement.
Amazingly, OAMF apparently decided to use his actual words on their non-endorsement graphic:
Nice work everyone. You truly love to see it.
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