UPDATE: Residents claim they were not allowed into political event


By Anthony Conchel - aconchel@aimmediamidwest.com



MOUNT GILEAD — A meet and greet for Bill Reineke, a candidate for Ohio Senate, resulted in some being denied access to the event.

Residents, including Sarah Cleveland, said several people were forcefully removed from the publicly advertised meet and greet Monday, Oct. 7 at the Community Services Building, 619 West Marion Road.

She has posted a Facebook Live video showing the confrontation.

Brenda Harden, Morrow County Republican Central Committee member and county chairman for Reineke’s campaign, issued a response Thursday:

“The notion that my cancer-stricken, 75-year-old husband and I muscled people out of an event is ridiculous, and Melissa Ackison should apologize for spreading such slanderous lies.”

Harden and her husband Larry were accused by Ackison, Reineke’s GOP primary opponent, of pushing residents out of the event. Ackison took to social media and put out a video asking Reineke to denounce the actions of his supporters.

Law enforcement was called, but no arrests were made.

Reineke currently serves as State Representative for Seneca and Sandusky counties. He and Ackison are vying for the 26th Senate district seat and will face off in the March 17 primary.

This is part of Ackison’s Facebook post:

“My opponent Bill Reineke had patriots that included foster parents, medically fragile taxpayers and veterans physically thrown out of a public meet and greet with Bill Reineke and Rep. Troy Balderson; these are tax paying patriots who were muscled out of a public event.”

Ackison said Wednesday that the constituents who showed up had questions for both Reineke and Balderson.

“I understand. I’ve had opposition show up at my events. It can be combative and people ask the tough questions. But they were there to ask questions of a candidate who is asking for a vote,” Ackison told The Sentinel.

Harden added, “It’s unfortunate to hear that her campaign surrogates lied about what happened on Monday. Truthfully, we had an outstanding event with great turnout. We were thrilled to have Rep. Bill Reineke and Congressman Balderson talk directly to Morrow County officials about why Bill is the best candidate for the Ohio Senate.”

Ackison confirmed that Cleveland is “a supporter of mine and she had questions about foster care.”

The 26th Senate district includes all or parts of Seneca, Sandusky, Marion, Morrow, Crawford, Wyandot and Union counties.

By Anthony Conchel

aconchel@aimmediamidwest.com