State Senate, District 23
Northeast Ohio, State Legislature
We are thrilled to endorse Nickie Antonio for Ohio State Senate – District 23. She is an example of the kind of woman we seek to endorse for political office in Ohio and believe she will work to help us achieve our mission of supporting an economy in which women can thrive and prosper.
“I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Matriots for my Senate race. I have been a leading voice in the Ohio General Assembly for women’s economic independence, equal rights and full citizenship. I am grateful for the support of The Matriots to continue this work in the Ohio State Senate.”
– Nickie Antonio
In 2019, Nickie began her work as the Ohio State Senator for District 23.
Senate District 23 includes Brook Park, Cleveland Heights and Lakewood. Click here to find the elected officials in your district.
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
I ran because I believed I was the best person for the job- even when I was underestimated and told I could not beat a male opponent because he had better name recognition. I had served eight years in the Ohio House with more than half of that time in leadership as the Minority Whip. I have been a leader in my caucus as the first lesbian serving openly in the history of the Ohio General Assembly. I have championed women’s reproductive rights & fought against anti-women bills. I passed a bill protecting Violence Against Women Act funds, support equal pay and women’s economic freedom. I knew my voice was and will be needed in the Senate.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
When I was young I watched my mother persevere when people told her she could not do things alone after my parents divorced. At first, she was even denied credit. She served as an example to me to believe in oneself, work hard and never listen to haters who would quash my dreams. When I wanted to go to college I was told it was beyond me by a school counselor, not because of my ability or grades, which were good; it was because my family lacked the financial means to send me to college. My mother encouraged me to pursue my dream and I worked my way through college and ended up earning two degrees.
Some of you are military veterans, some small business owners, some professionals, some mothers and grandmothers, some homemakers. How did one of these experiences shape who you are as a person and leader?
I became a Special Education teacher as my first professional job. My teenage students with learning disabilities and behavior disorders challenged me to be tough but fair, never show fear, have a sense of humor and never back people into a corner they cannot work their way out of (literally and figuratively). I use those lessons learned to mediate, advocate and debate issues in my current legislative leadership capacity.
The Matriots PAC has a goal to see 50% of all elected offices in Ohio held by women by 2028. What is your vision for Ohio in 2028?
I love this audacious goal and I believe it is achievable. I plan to continue to mentor women to run for office and encourage them to step up in positions managing campaigns as well.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
1) Providing quality public schools and educational programs that are flexible to meet the needs of all students. Including a reduction in testing and the availability of technology so we can prepare our children for the jobs of the 21st Century and a global economy.
2) Our local roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair for the health and safety of our communities. We need to return portions of the local government funds withheld and put into a “rainy day fund” by the current administration. These infrastructure needs are dangerous, costly and perilous to our local communities.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
While I don’t get to go often, I love sailing on Lake Erie. I am fortunate that there is a very affordable Women’s Sailing Club that matches novices with sailboat racers at Edgewater Park in Cleveland. Every chance I get to be out gliding across the lake fulfills a childhood dream when I would ride my bike to that same park and watch the sailboat races. The best part is it’s always someone else’s boat, so I can share the experience but not the costs of owning/maintaining a boat!