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Ohio Rep. Emilia Sykes is running for Congress

[Andy Chow / Statehouse News Bureau]
Rep. Emilia Sykes (D)

The former leader of Ohio House Democrats is running for Congress.

Rep. Emilia Sykes announced Tuesday she's running for the seat in Ohio's 13th Congressional District, which runs from the Akron area to the Pennsylvania border.

“I’m running for the United States Congress because working families need a fighter who isn’t afraid to stand up to the powerful and well connected who want us to sit down and embrace the status quo,” Sykes wrote in an email announcing her campaign. “Instead, I’ll go to Washington to stand up for jobs, for affordable healthcare and quality education, all while embracing bipartisan cooperation—it’s something that I’ve already done here in Ohio and I can take that experience with me to DC.”

Sykes first won office in 2014 when she became the first Black woman under 30 ever elected to the legislature. She became the House Minority Leader in 2019.

Sykes recently stepped down from her leadership position as she mulled her political future. That also removed her from the Ohio Redistricting Commission, the body charged with crafting new legislative maps after the Ohio Supreme Court tossed out the old maps, ruling they were unconstitutionally gerrymandered to favor Republicans. Sykes did not vote for the maps when she served on the commission.

Ohio's congressional map was also recently deemed unconstitutional, meaning the boundaries for the district Sykes seeks to represent could change when the map is redrawn.

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