State Representative, District 75
Northeast Ohio, State Legislature
We are beyond honored to endorse Randi Clites for Ohio House District 75. We’re inspired by her work as a healthcare advocate and we’re sure she will take this same dedication to the Statehouse to create an economy that ensures justice for all.
“I am very grateful to The Matriots for their endorsement. I never imagined I would run for office, because I never imagined I would have to fight so hard for fair access to healthcare for my son and other children with special healthcare needs. That struggle inspired me to fight to ensure that Ohioans know that every voice matters in government. I applaud The Matriots for their work supporting women across Ohio who step up to protect our shared values.“
– Randi Clites
In 2019, Randi began her work in the Ohio House of Representatives for District 75.
House District 75 is in the Akron metro area and includes the cities of Kent, Ravenna, Streetsboro and Tallmadge. 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?
As a concerned mom, I became involved in state government because a nurse that was treating my son asked me to get involved. She took me to my first meeting of a coalition that was forming to be a parent/patient voice. I spent the next 10 years within the healthcare system learning how to work with people with different backgrounds to identify the issues on which they could have the most impact. In 2017, the governor’s budget proposed a major change to a program that I’ve volunteered and advocated for since 2005. Our coalition decided this was a targeted issue, so I led a grassroots effort to protect the program, and was successful because of two women leaders, Ohio Representatives Emilia Sykes and Sarah LaTourette. They helped me draft the language needed to protect the program in the state budget process. I engaged about 1,200 people to write and call their lawmakers, testify in committee and hold community gatherings to support the movement to protect the program. When we were successful I made the decision to give back to my local community by stepping up to file as a candidate.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
My son inspired me to become a leader. At just two weeks old, he was diagnosed with a rare genetic bleeding disorder and then at 16 months with leukemia. When he survived leukemia, I knew I needed to make sure his journey had a purpose. Although, I was super-uncomfortable leading, I surely couldn’t see an issue that needed to be addressed and not do my best to address it; so I decided to take a stand on these healthcare issues. I have seen my son overcome obstacles that many adults would struggle to handle, and he did it with grace and patience. He is the most easy-going teen. So when a person challenges me to do more, I look to my son and know that I can do anything I set my mind to–and we prove this to each other every day.
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 am a strong leader in my community because of my focus on volunteerism. I have volunteered for many non-profits over the years. Because I have been involved in many organizations, I’ve learned the importance of investing time as well as resources to projects that I am passionate about. This has been the catalyst to my growth as a leader.
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?
My vision for Ohio by 2028 is a state that has a strong majority of women leaders who are focused on putting people first. I want to be part of the solution, protecting access to affordable healthcare options, creating more jobs that pay a decent living wage, investing in Ohio’s education and children, and advancing policies to protect the environment.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
Although my community shares a lot of issues of concern with me, I would say healthcare is the top issue, with job security being the next. People at all levels of income worry about the cost of healthcare and struggle to access the services they need when they need to get treatment. Many citizens in my community are living paycheck-to-paycheck and are working multiple jobs to get by. We need to focus on how to provide a real living wage to our workforce and make healthcare affordable and accessible to all.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
When I decided I would like to find a dog to run with me, I adopted my first dog in need of rescue. I have now rescued three hard-to-place dogs over the past seven years. Two of them are in my family picture on my door knocker, and they have sparked more conversations with voters than I expected.