CLEVELAND (AP) — The former state health director who became the face of Ohio’s early pandemic response says she will not make a bid for a Republican-held U.S. Senate seat in the state.
Dr. Amy Acton announced her decision Tuesday.
In a statement, the 55-year-old Democrat did not explain her decision but urged Ohioans to hold their political leaders accountable.
Acton gained visibility last year at the right hand of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine during televised daily virus briefings.
She became a folk hero and role model for Ohio girls, but also a target of those opposed to the health restrictions she signed.
You can read Acton's full statement below:
It has been a tremendous honor to be asked to consider a run for the U.S. Senate. Like many of you, I have a profound reverence for the office, and for those who have answered the calling to public service. As such, I have given it my most thoughtful and deliberate consideration.
Please know I am deeply grateful for the outpouring of support from my fellow Ohioans, and from across the country. I especially wish to express my heartfelt appreciation to all who have worked quietly behind the scenes to help me consider this path.
While I am not entering the race for U.S. Senate, I recognize there is a genuine longing for a fresh approach to leadership that is honest, collaborative, and empowering.
Ohioans - do not accept anything less from your elected officials. Our leaders’ words and actions matter. We must set the bar higher.
Yet this moment in history calls on all of us, regardless of our politics, to address the pressing issues facing our families and communities. In the wake of the economic, racial, and health crises of 2020, what is at stake is nothing less than the heart and soul of our country. What kind of nation do we aspire to co-create? We must recognize the opportunity inherent in our mutual vulnerability, our undeniable interdependence, and our shared humanity.
Let our future honor the dignity of true public service and citizenship. I know many of us are tired of the vitriol and hate. We are weary from the battle. No one has gone untouched and much has been exposed and revealed. Yet as we cautiously re-emerge this spring, we dare to hope that a new way is possible. The opportunity for repairing and reimagining is at hand: a rebirth for ourselves, our relationships, and for the institutions of our civil society. What happens next isn’t the sole province of our elected officials. It is up to all of us. We must co-create an Ohio that ensures the enduring cultural values of kindness and justice for all.
Ohioans, it has been my privilege to witness your courage, determination, and resiliency. And your heartfelt compassion. Don’t stop now. The leader we all wish we had is YOU. In all walks of civic life, we will demand equality of voice and representation. We will empower our citizens to vote and participate in community institutions by breaking down the barriers that block them. And we will build bridges across our differences and divides.
We will inspire a culture of commitment to one another.
Together, may we act on kindness, not fear. Love, not hate.
Dr. Amy Acton
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