Former Ohio State Representative Candice Keller certainly made a name for herself in the 4 years she served as Ohio State Representative.
The far-right Republican representing the 53rd district in Butler County in southwestern Ohio earned national headlines and bipartisan condemnation in 2019 when she blamed the mass shooting in Dayton on “transgender, homosexual marriage, and drag queen advocates.”
In office, Keller was a fierce anti-masker, compared Planned Parenthood to Nazis, and, though she was handily defeated in the 2020 Republican primary for Ohio State Senate, she apparently still uses her state lawmaker license plates.
On September 11, 2021, Keller served as the emcee for “One Nation Under God: Remembering 9/11,” a program hosted by the Calvary Church in Hamilton, Ohio.
Describing herself as a “citizen freedom fighter,” Keller introduced U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel by comparing him to King David, Cyrus the Great, and Jesus.
“He is God’s man for the hour,” said Keller. “Just like Donald Trump, God is raising Josh Mandel up to be our Cyrus.”
In his remarks, Mandel began by comparing his “fighter mentality” to the actions of law enforcement, firefighters, and civilians who ran into the World Trade Center on 9/11.
He then spent over 40 minutes covering a wide range of topics from the 2020 election being stolen, to comparing masks mandates to “child abuse,” to delivering transphobic remarks.
“[Democrats] are also trying to trample on what we know to be eternal truths in bible, in natural law, in fact,” said Mandel. “For instance, boys are boys, girls are girls.”
The comment elicited raucous applause.
The comments reflect Mandel’s oft-used approach of using transphobia to appeal to his base, a tactic he employs on Twitter regularly, including just a few days ago.
Mandel concluded his remarks—again, in a program commemorating 9/11—by having congregants take out their phones and sign up for his text mailing list before telling a story about the “patriots” in Washington D.C. on January 6th who were “exercising their Constitutional rights.”
He described them as “male and female…because those were the only two genders who were there,” a comment that was met with audible laughter from the audience.
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