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Area woman who accused Trump of sexual misconduct seeks to become state lawmaker

By Jessica Chia • May 17, 2018 at 11:00 AM

(UPDATED at 10:30 a.m. May 21, 2018) Rachel Crooks no longer works at Bowling Green State University.

Her last day was June 30, 2017, according to Amber Stark, a writer/marketing and communications specialist at the university.

According to Crooks’ campaign website, Crooks has worked in higher education for over a decade. Most recently, she has worked extensively with international students at both Tiffin and Heidelberg universities.

Below is Crooks’ biography from that website:

Raised in Green Springs, Ohio and currently a resident of Tiffin, Ohio, Rachel is a long-time resident of Sandusky and Seneca counties. She grew up in this district and is proud of her roots. She wants to see everyone in the district thrive, not just the select few at the top.

Growing up in a hard-working, middle-class family taught Rachel a great deal. She saw firsthand how a lifetime of hard work does not guarantee access to things like quality education, affordable healthcare and a clean environment. Her dad, Pete, worked as a mechanic for Whirlpool and her mom, Sandy, is a nurse. Along with her older sister, Brianne, Rachel spent her childhood in a tight knit community surrounded by a close and loving family.

Rachel attended St. Mary’s elementary school in Clyde where her lifelong love of learning was born. She graduated in 2001 from Clyde High School as salutatorian of her class, and was a stand-out athlete, earning all-state honors in volleyball, basketball and track. Rachel is proud to be a first-generation college graduate. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Tiffin University.

In 2005, after graduating college, Rachel was working in New York when Donald Trump forcibly kissed her without permission. This experience shaped her future for years to come. However, choosing to run for office is not about what Trump did to Rachel; rather it is about a lack of honesty and integrity in politics, and a desire to bring about positive change. Speaking out about her experience with sexual harassment has not been easy. Rachel’s experiences have made her unafraid to stand up to bullies and give a voice to the voiceless.

Professionally, Rachel has worked in higher education for over a decade. Most recently, she has worked extensively with international students at both Tiffin and Heidelberg universities. Her work has given Rachel a unique perspective on community. She enjoyed introducing international students into the community, inviting them to share their culture and learn about American culture. These experiences have fostered a dedicated passion for contributing to her vibrant community and exposing people to new perspectives. Rachel firmly believes that “when we learn about others, we also learn about ourselves.”

Outside of work and school, Rachel loves taking walks with her puppy, an Irishdoodle named Carlow, as well as reading and trying out new restaurants. But there is nothing Rachel loves more than being involved in her community and connecting with people.

* * *

A woman who accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct won the uncontested Democratic primary for a seat in the Ohio state House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Rachel Crooks, a former receptionist at Trump Tower who said the president forcibly kissed her in 2006, secured the Democratic nomination for Ohio’s House District 88.

“We’re still waiting for the final count, but it was uncontested, so we’re happy,” her campaign manager Chris Liebold told The Washington Post.

Crooks, a 2001 Clyde High School graduate, said she was working as a receptionist for the real estate development firm Bayrock Group in 2006 when she introduced herself to Trump while he was waiting for the elevator.

“He started kissing me on one cheek, then the other cheek. He was talking to me in between kisses, asking where I was from, or if I wanted to be a model,” Crooks told The Post in February.

“He wouldn’t let go of my hand, and then he went right in and started kissing me on the lips,” she added.

Trump disputed her account and said he didn’t know Crooks, who is one of 19 women who have publicly accused the president of sexual misconduct.

“A woman I don’t know and, to the best of my knowledge, never met, is on the FRONT PAGE of the Fake News Washington Post saying I kissed her (for two minutes yet) in the lobby of Trump Tower 12 years ago. Never happened! Who would do this in a public space with live security cameras running,” Trump tweeted.

Crooks, who campaigned on issues including education, health care and income equality, said her decision to run for office “is not about what Trump did.”

“Rather it is about a lack of honesty and integrity in politics, and a desire to bring about positive change,” her campaign website states.

She will face incumbent Bill Reineke in November.

Originally from Green Springs, Crooks went to St. Mary's Elementary School before attending Clyde High, where she excelled in volleyball, basketball in track. In fact, she earned first-team All-Ohio honors in basketball and volleyball and competed in the state finals in track.

She received a full athletic scholarship to play volleyball at Syracuse University and made the All-Big East freshman team, but left after two years because she was tired of playing volleyball, former Clyde basketball coach John Cahill told the Fremont News Messenger.

Crooks earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Tiffin University, according to her LinkedIn profile, and now works as coordinator of international student services at Bowling Green State University, the News Messenger reported.

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