Candice Keller

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Candice Keller
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the 53rd district
In office
November 16, 2016 – December 31, 2020
Preceded byTim Derickson
Succeeded byThomas Hall
Personal details
Bornc. 1959 (age 63–64)[1]
Butler County, Ohio, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseKent Keller
ResidenceMiddletown, Ohio
Alma materMiami University (A.A.)
WebsiteOfficial website

Candice Keller (born c. 1959) is an American politician and former state representative for the 53rd District of the Ohio House of Representatives, which includes part of Butler County. A Republican, Keller is known for her far-right views.[2] In 2019, she proposed legislation to ban and criminalize abortion in Ohio.[3][4][5]

Early life and career[edit]

Keller was born and raised in Butler County, Ohio.[6] She has been a director of a young mother assistance organization in southwestern Ohio, the Community Pregnancy Center, since 2008. She is also a member of the Central Committee of the local Republican Party.[7]

Ohio House of Representatives[edit]

In 2016, Ohio Representative Tim Derickson was unable to run for a fifth term in the Ohio House of Representatives due to term limits. Keller was one of two Republicans to run to replace Derickson; she won the primary 59% to 41%.[8] She won the general election with 65% of the vote over Democrat Susan Rubin.[9] With Derickson leaving his term early to join the administration of Ohio Governor John Kasich, Keller was appointed to fill the rest of his term by starting on November 16, 2016, as opposed to the usual start date of January 1, 2017.[10]

In the state House, Keller aligned with the far-right.[2]

2019 Dayton shooting controversy[edit]

Following a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, in August 2019, Keller posted an essay on her personal Facebook page blaming the shooting on the breakdown of the traditional family (including due to transgender rights, gay marriage and "drag queen advocates"), video game violence, recreational marijuana, open borders, disrespect of military veterans and law enforcement, failed school policies, former President Barack Obama, and "snowflakes, who can’t accept a duly-elected President".[11][12] She later deleted the post.[13]

As a result, many local officials (including Jane Timken, chairwoman of the Republican Party of Ohio) have called for Keller to resign. Keller, who was then running to replace fellow Republican Bill Coley in the state senate, declined to do so, criticizing "Establishment moderates" and describing herself as the "only conservative in this race."[14] In 2020, she lost the Republican primary.[15]

Abortion bill[edit]

In 2019, Keller and fellow Republican state Representative Ron Hood sponsored legislation that would ban abortion in Ohio and criminalize what they called "abortion murder". Doctors who performed abortions in cases of ectopic pregnancy and other life-threatening conditions would be exempt from prosecution only if they "[took] all possible steps to preserve the life of the unborn child, while preserving the life of the woman. Such steps include, if applicable, attempting to reimplant an ectopic pregnancy into the woman's uterus".[3][4][5][16] Reimplantation of an ectopic pregnancy is not a recognized or medically feasible procedure.[3][17]

Anti-vaccine efforts and position on COVID-19 and DeWine impeachment[edit]

Keller has made misleading statements about vaccines.[2] In August 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Keller, along with fellow Republicans John Becker, Nino Vitale, and Paul Zeltwanger, sponsored articles of impeachment against Mike DeWine, Ohio's Republican governor, over his efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Ohio.[18] The long-shot move was panned on both sides of the aisle.[19][18][20][21] Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken criticized the move as "a baseless, feeble attempt" by the sponsors to draw "attention for themselves";[22][18] the Republican speaker of the Ohio state House, Bob Cupp, called it an "imprudent attempt" to cause "a state constitutional crisis".[23] Legal scholar Jonathan Entin criticized the proposal to remove DeWine as reflective of a warped understanding of the concept of impeachment.[20] CNN commentator Chris Cillizza said the effort was one of several examples of how Donald Trump had politicized public health matters to the point Republican lawmakers felt they needed to make extreme and pointless moves in order to satisfy the base.[21] DeWine responded by recommending his foes visit a hospital and talk to nurses.[24]

Personal life[edit]

According to Keller's website, she has been married for more than 40 years to Kent Keller, a retired software company project manager, with two sons. Her website also states that she resides in Middletown, Ohio.[25]


  1. ^ Assunção, Muri (August 5, 2019). "Ohio lawmaker blames trans people, open borders, gay marriage, 'drag queen advocates' for deadly mass shootings". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Texts Between Ohio Republican Lawmakers Show Support For And Struggles Over Mandatory Vaccines Ban, Statehouse News Bureau, WOUB (September 2, 2021).
  3. ^ a b c Glenza, Jessica (November 29, 2019). "Ohio bill orders doctors to 'reimplant ectopic pregnancy' or face 'abortion murder' charges". The Guardian. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Ohio anti-abortion bill would force procedure not medically possible, Lauren Steussy, New York Post, November 2, 2019
  5. ^ a b Ohio bill would make doctors 'reimplant' ectopic pregnancies (which is impossible) or face 'abortion murder' charges, National Post, November 29, 2019
  6. ^ "Representative Candice Keller (R) - Biography The Ohio House of Representatives". Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  7. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  8. ^ Pitman, Michael D. (March 15, 2016). "Candice Keller wins 53rd Ohio House GOP primary". Journal-News. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  9. ^ Richter, Ed (November 8, 2016). "Candice Keller wins Ohio House seat over Suzi Rubin". Journal-News. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  10. ^ "Candice Keller sworn-in as state rep". Journal-News. November 16, 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  11. ^ Laura Bischoff, Columbus Bureau (August 4, 2019). "Dayton shooting due to family breakdown, gay marriage, video games, state lawmaker says". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  12. ^ Horton, Alex (August 5, 2019). "Ohio Republican blames mass shootings on 'drag queen advocates,' Colin Kaepernick and Obama". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  13. ^ Daugherty, Owen (August 5, 2019). "Ohio state representative blames shootings on gay marriage, video games, open borders". The Hill. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  14. ^ Jessie Balmert, "Republican lawmaker asked to resign after 'shocking' Facebook post blamed Dayton shooting on 'drag queen advocates'", Cincinnati Enquirer (via USA Today) (August 6, 2019).
  15. ^ Ohio primary election: George Lang defeats Candice Keller in GOP race for senate seat, by Jessie Balmert, in The Cincinnati Enquirer; published April 29, 2020; retrieved May 1, 2020
  16. ^ "House Bill 413 | The Ohio Legislature".
  17. ^ Rezac, Mary. "Pro-life doctors: Despite Ohio bill, there is no procedure to save ectopic pregnancies". Catholic News Agency.
  18. ^ a b c Pelzer, Jeremy (2020-08-24). "Articles of impeachment drawn up against Gov. Mike DeWine over coronavirus orders". Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  19. ^ y Jeremy Pelzer (24 August 2020). "Articles of impeachment drawn up against Gov. Mike DeWine over coronavirus orders". Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  20. ^ a b Pelzer, Jeremy; clevel; .com (2020-08-24). "The move to impeach Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine: A necessary step, or a blow to democracy?". Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  21. ^ a b Cillizza, Chris (26 August 2020). "Some Ohio Republicans are trying to impeach the state's GOP governor over coronavirus". CNN. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  22. ^ Gstalter, Morgan (2020-08-25). "Ohio Republicans draft articles of impeachment against GOP governor over coronavirus orders". TheHill. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  23. ^ Balmert, Jessie. "Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp opposes GOP-led effort to impeach Gov. Mike DeWine". The Enquirer. Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  24. ^ "Editorial: Governor needs ability to act quickly". The Lima News. 2020-12-05. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
  25. ^ "About Candice". Retrieved December 19, 2016.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Ohio House of Representatives, 53rd District
Succeeded by
Thomas Hall