Since President Donald Trump decided stomp his foot into political waters, women have come forward with their allegations of sexual misconduct against the now-president. Now, with a year of the Trump administration under our belts, one of the women who accused the president of sexual misconduct has decided to take matters into office. On Feb. 5, Trump accuser Rachel Crooks announced she's running for office for the first time. But who is she?
Crooks declared, in an exclusive interview with Cosmopolitan.com on Monday, Feb. 5, that she is throwing her hat in the ring for a seat in Ohio's state legislature. Crooks is running in Ohio's 88th district as a Democrat on a platform of more jobs, access to affordable health care, and fixing the education system.
Crooks is also one of more than a dozen women who have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct. Back in October 2016, just before the presidential election, Crooks alleged that Trump had forcefully kissed her back in 2005, when she was just 22 years old. At the time, Crooks worked as a receptionist for a real-estate firm in Trump Tower in Manhattan. In an interview with The New York Times, she claimed that she met Trump outside an elevator in Trump Tower, and offered her hand for him to shake and introduced herself. However, Trump allegedly did not let go of his grip on her hand. Instead, she alleged, he kissed her on both cheeks and then, "kissed me directly on the mouth."
Crooks told the Times back in October 2016. “It was so inappropriate. I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that." Trump has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct from all of the multiple women who have come forward to accuse him. The official White House position on those allegations remains that the women are all lying, and Trump has tweeted that he never met his accusers. Elite Daily reached out to the White House regarding Crooks' specific allegations against the president, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
And now, Crooks has decided to take it upon herself to run for office. She told Cosmopolitan.com,
I think my voice should have been heard then, and I'll still fight for it to be heard now. Americans are really upset with politics as usual, and I want to be a voice for them.
Crooks made it very clear that she wants the voters to appreciate her campaign for its values, not just because she's part of the sexual misconduct allegations against the president. She wants people to connect with her platform, but she hopes that it's "more so because [she's] a viable candidate rather than a participant in the #MeToo movement."
If Crooks wins the Democratic primary on May 8, she will go up against two-term incumbent Republican Rep. Bill Reineke. Ohio's 88th district went red in 2016, but Crooks believes that because of Trump's "ineffective" presidency, the district's constituents might be more inclined to vote against him next time. Crooks also told Cosmopolitan.com that the Trump era has brought the Democrats out of the woodworks a bit and put protest at the forefront. "I think there's this momentum now that Trump has been elected," said Crooks. "We know there are more [Democrats] out there, and we're more active in politics."
Crooks is active in politics and protest and a member of a liberal resistance group called Seneca County Rising. It was that group, coupled with her disdain for Trump, that had her advance towards politics, according to Cosmopolitan.com. She said,
I think like a lot of women, because we've been historically underrepresented in politics, I didn't necessarily see myself in this role. But multiple people encouraged and said, 'I think you would be great.' Once you hear it a few times, you start to believe it a little bit, and fully consider it. Once I sat down and mulled it over, I felt like it really was a duty that I had, that I should take on this responsibility firsthand and try to make a difference for other people.
Though she never thought about politics before, Crooks knows that this is a time for women and for her. She knows that she has a voice and she clearly intends to use it.
As she told Cosmopolitan.com, “Women are uniting. The momentum is now. I want to be part of it.”