Meet Betsy

Read Betsy’s Washington Post op-ed about growing up in poverty

I’m a lifelong Buckeye, born in Coshocton, where my dad was a game warden with the Ohio Division of Wildlife. My mom stayed home to raise our family when I was young. After my parents divorced, my mom struggled to make ends meet in low-paying jobs while raising four kids. Thanks to great public school teachers, scholarships, and working nights and weekends, I was able to attend The Ohio State University and later Yale Law School.

I became a lawyer because I wanted to help people. I wanted to give people a voice because, growing up poor, I had felt like we just didn’t have a say about what happened to us. I have spent my life advocating for people in Northeast Ohio and for causes big and small.

Currently, I own my own small business—a law firm where I practice employment law and represent people who’ve been fired for illegal reasons. I also assist companies who want to do the right thing for their employees by, for instance, training on topics like sexual harassment and investigating wrongdoing. I’ve worked for large and small companies, and served as President of the Northeast Ohio Association of Corporate Counsel, so I understand how businesses and their employees can work together to grow companies and create jobs.

I’ve always tried to make a positive difference in my community and work on things that matter most. That’s why I practiced as Senior Counsel at the Cleveland Clinic, worked at Medicare and Medicaid, and served on the boards of organizations like Cleveland Legal Aid, Geauga County United Way, and the Geauga Parks Foundation. That’s why I served on the Russell Zoning Commission and founded a local non-profit that helps abused and neglected children.

Because I didn’t have an easy time growing up, kids have always been a priority for me. So when I had the opportunity to serve as director of Geauga County’s advocacy program for abused children, I traded a high-paying job to work for $12 an hour for the Juvenile Court. I currently serve as a guardian ad litem for abused children. For me, kids are more important than money.

My husband Dave and I have been married 34 years and are the proud parents of three great kids who all attended the West Geauga public schools. When they were growing up, I spent time as a stay-at-home mom, volunteering with the PTO and as a leader of my daughter’s Brownie Troop, teaching Sunday School, and organizing the swim team.

Both of our sons are gay, and one of the happiest moments of my life was standing on the Supreme Court steps with my family after the Obergefell decision was announced, giving them the right to marry the person they love. That day, we were full of incredible joy and hope for the future. I was thrilled that my kids were coming of age at such a wonderful point in history.

I’m running for Ohio state senate because I want my kids and everyone’s kids to live safe, happy, productive lives with clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. I believe that government should represent the interests of the hard-working people of Ohio, not focus on the narrow special interests promoted by big-spending lobbyists.

I’ll stand up for ordinary people on issues like affordable health care, quality public education, and economic opportunities with jobs that pay good wages. I’ll fight to get big money out of politics, get rid of gerrymandering and make sure our districts are drawn fairly for the next elections. I’ll stand up for home rule to ensure that we are getting to make decisions about our own communities instead of having the lobbyists in Columbus grab that power away from us. I will not take any money from corporate PACs.

It’s time to elect people who want to focus on what’s truly important. It’s time to reject extremism and elect people who will work toward a shared vision of an Ohio where everyone can thrive. I hope you’ll join our team.