Rachel Crooks, one of the first women to come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct against Donald Trump, has announced her candidacy for a state legislator position in Ohio.
According to Cosmopolitan, Crooks had claimed Trump had tried to non-consensually kiss her on the mouth in 2005 while she worked as a receptionist for a company with an office located in Trump Tower.
“I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that," she told the New York Times.
She came forward with her story during the 2016 election campaign.
Crooks says she was inspired to run by the lack of consequences faced by Trump, despite the growing #MeToo movement.
“I think my voice should have been heard then, and I'll still fight for it to be heard now,” she says. “Americans are really upset with politics as usual, and I want to be a voice for them ... I think there will be a lot of people who see value in [my campaign]. But I hope more so because I'm a viable candidate rather than a participant in the #MeToo movement."
Crooks, specifically, is running in Ohio’s 88th district, a rural area outside of Toledo. She'll be running as a Democrat; her goals for the district include ensuring citizens access to affordable health care, and to fix the state’s education system.
Crooks is currently employed as the director of international student recruitment at Heidelberg University in northwest Ohio.
“What I’ve learned working, especially with international students, is just understanding different perspectives. And really having empathy for others,” she says. “You need to understand where people are coming from. Right now, it seems very polarized in politics. I think if you can empathize with others, you can possibly reach common ground.”
She hopes the recent wave of feminist activism will help bolster her success.
“I think I’ve read and seen about as negative of things as I can about myself,” she said. “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.”
[Photo: Getty Images]