Rachel Crooks said it’s “liars” like Donald Trump who inspired her to run for office — and on Tuesday she just reached an important milestone in her quest to become a politician who starkly contrasts the president.
Crooks, 35, who claims Trump gave her an unwanted kiss on the mouth in 2005 while she worked at a company within Trump Tower, won her uncontested Democratic primary on Tuesday for a seat in the Ohio state House of Representatives.
“We’re still waiting for the final count, but it was uncontested, so we’re happy,” Crooks’ campaign manager, Chris Liebold, told The Washington Post Tuesday night. “We look forward to the race ahead.”
In the general election in November, Crooks, a Democrat, will face first-term Republican Rep. Bill Reineke in the 88th District southeast of Toledo.
Liebold added that an unprecedented number of individual donors — more than 1,500 — contributed to Crooks’ campaign during the past reporting period, which ran from February through mid-April.
“That’s a record for a first-time statehouse candidate in Ohio,” he said.
Crooks is one of at least 19 women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct.
In a February interview with Cosmopolitan, Crooks, now the director of international student recruitment at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, said that her inspiration to run stemmed from Trump escaping accountability for his alleged sexual abuse.
“I think my voice should have been heard then, and I’ll still fight for it to be heard now,” Crooks said of her own account about the president. “Americans are really upset with politics as usual, and I want to be a voice for them.”
In the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election, Crooks alleged toThe New York Times that when she was a 22-year-old receptionist for a real estate and development firm in Trump Tower, she met Trump at an elevator in the building. She claimed that after introducing herself to Trump they shook hands — but he would not let go, instead kissing her on the cheeks and then on her mouth.
Crooks said the incident felt like a violation and “so inappropriate.”
“I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that,” Crooks told The Times.
In December, Crooks and other Trump accusers called on Congress to investigate their claims of Trump’s sexual misconduct.
Then she decided to take more direct action by running for office.
“I think there will be a lot of people who see value in [my campaign],” Crooks told Cosmo. “But I hope more so because I’m a viable candidate rather than a participant in the #MeToo movement.”