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Ohio Transgender Candidate Initially at Risk of Disqualification Now Allowed to Run, Even After Not Revealing Previous Name (Deadname)!


CNS NewsArienne Childrey, a transgender candidate for the Ohio House, has overcome a significant legal barrier in her campaign journey. The Mercer County Board of Elections has decided not to disqualify Childrey, despite the omission of her former name, as required by a little-known Ohio election law, from her qualifying petitions.

This law, obscure to many, mandates that candidates disclose any name changes within the past five years on their petition paperwork. Childrey, who legally changed her name in 2020, expressed her willingness to comply had she been aware of the requirement. The controversy arose following a protest from Mercer County Republican Party Chairman Robert J. Hibner, which was ultimately deemed invalid as it crossed party lines.

Childrey’s candidacy is significant not only for her journey but also in the context of her potential opposition. She is likely to face Rep. Angie King, a Republican known for sponsoring anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, highlighting the stark contrast in their political stances.

The issue of name-change disclosure has affected multiple transgender candidates in Ohio, revealing a broader systemic challenge. Vanessa Joy, another transgender candidate, faced disqualification for a similar reason. These incidents have sparked a dialogue about the inclusivity of election laws and the barriers faced by transgender individuals in politics.

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Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine has voiced his support for amending the law, emphasizing the importance of equal ballot access. This stance, coupled with his recent veto of a ban on gender-affirming care for minors, positions DeWine as a critical figure in the evolving political landscape concerning LGBTQ+ rights in Ohio.

As the law stands, the disclosure requirement remains a potential obstacle for transgender candidates, but Childrey’s clearance to run marks a significant step towards more inclusive election practices. Her campaign, along with those of other affected candidates, underscores the ongoing struggle for representation and equality in the political arena.

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