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Candidate hopes to give voice to many

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

The Daily Standard (Celina) - It's been a busy year - with no signs of slowing down - for Northwest Ohio Trans Advocacy founder and director Arienne Childrey.

The year brought a Gay Pride event in Bryson Park. It also brought an Ohio House Bill 245 co-authored by Rep. Angie King, R-Celina, that would effectively ban drag performances from all locations except adult cabaret establishments such as strip clubs. The bill was followed by a Childrey-led protest of the bill at the Mercer County Courthouse.

Childrey, a Democrat, recently said she will challenge King in the 2024 election for the Ohio 84th House District.

She sat down with the Daily Standard to discuss her campaign.

Daily Standard: What got you involved in politics?

Childrey: I want to make sure that (it's) not just the LGBTQ+ community, but any community that feels underrepresented, people who struggle with income insecurities and housing insecurities, I want to make sure they all have an opportunity to have someone speak for them.

DS: What are some policies that are important to you?

Childrey: Education is a real focus of mine. The EdChoice program is absolutely corrupt with no guardrails. The state of Ohio is even worse because we don't collect the data on that. I have a strong commitment to unions, and I will admit, I am the wife of a union worker. I don't care what bill they attach it to, attach any provision that limits collective bargaining, count me out. You attach any provision that limits the ability of striking, count me out, because without striking, your're basically asking unions to say pretty please.

DS: What will your campaign look like?

Childrey: We're doing a lot of outreach to independents and, I will happily say, dissatisfied Republicans. We don't care if it's a Democratic idea or Republican idea as long as it's a good idea. I'm not dedicated to every detail of a party platform. If you're looking at somebody who's willing to buck the Democrats, the Republicans, I'm prefectly willing to do that if it's in the best interest of my constituents. If you want somebody who's willing to listen to you about what you need for your family farm and how you can keep it in the family for generations to come, I'm willing to listen.

DS: I read that you're from Virginia. How did you get to Ohio?

Childrey: I worked for a large retailer, and I actually moved to Ohio originally straight out of high school. Then I moved back home and over the course of 12 years, I said, "I'm going back to Ohio." It was the place that felt like home. After my grandmother passed away, I didn't have the ties that held me (in Virginia).

DS: Your campaign manager is Krissi Braun-Donley. What does your team look like?

Childrey: We're doing a lot of grassroots organizing. My campaign manager is in the medical profession. We're really looking at people from across the spectrum. I couldn't care less what you have yourself registered as (politically) if you want to help us.

DS: How does NOTA fit in with your campaign?

Childrey: We are a grassroots community group that advocates for LGBTQ+ inclusion, but especially trans inclusion, because that seems to be such a lightning rod (concept). I want (the voters) to have the right information, because then we can have a conversation. When we're talking about gender affirming care for minors, we're talking about somebody going by a different name, cutting their hair or growing it out, wearing the cloths they want to wear. Other things like puberty blockers, are completely and totally reversable and have been tested scientifically. Hormone replacement therapy, which is much later in the equation (is) usually around the age of ... 16 at the earliest. I'll sit down (to talk). I don't mind arguing, but dear Lord, if we're not even living on the same planet, in the same reality, what discussion can I have? It's pointless.

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