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Meet John

John Russell is a farmer and small-business owner in Galena, Ohio. For the last five years, John has worked in the 12th District farming produce and grinding tree stumps, while also fighting as a political activist. He is running for Congress to make sure everyone has a chance to earn a decent living and to stand with those who can’t afford to buy a politician.

John grew up in Wellsville, a small, working-class town in the Ohio Valley that’s home to about 3,500 people. In its prime, Wellsville was a picture of middle-class stability, but that was nearly 50 years ago. When John was growing up, jobs and opportunity had disappeared. Families struggled to keep their place in the middle class. Opiate addiction crept in and claimed the lives of three of John's childhood friends.

But in the midst of that pain and hardship, John learned the importance of fighting for his community. He learned it from his dad, who worked in the local bank and would work with people who fell behind on their payments to keep them in their homes. He learned it from his mom, who decorated the windows of local businesses on Main Street for decades, just to give people a reason to smile. And the values he learned there stayed with him after he left.

John earned a degree in Agricultural Sciences at Cornell University, and while there he further developed his passion for community engagement and political activism. This led him to taking a job in the New York State legislature, before moving back to Ohio where he worked on the campaigns of Sherrod Brown and Ted Strickland.

After those campaigns finished, John moved to Galena to start his business and continued to stay active in local politics. In 2016 he ran for State Representative in Ohio’s 68th district, which hasn’t elected a Democrat in more than 50 years. Despite this, because of John’s belief in having honest face-to-face conversations with voters the campaign knocked on over 30,000 doors. The grassroots support he gained from this helped John outperform all the other Democrats on the ticket in rural communities across the district.

Following the election, John helped start a grassroots organization in the 12th District to fight for healthcare. When Congressional Republicans announced their intention to repeal the Affordable Care Act, John this group started a petition aimed at convincing their Congressman, Pat Tiberi, to hold a town hall to meet with his constituents. When Tiberi refused, the group hosted their own town hall anyway. More than one thousand citizens attended, and the event helped to further drive the national discussion over health care rights.

Now, John is running for the 12th Congressional District. He is running because he believes in the simple truth that, as the working class goes, so goes the country. Having grown up in Wellsville, and having worked as a farmer and small-business owner, he has seen firsthand the importance of economic opportunity for everyone and especially those on the other side of power. John is running because our citizens need representatives who care about the way things are, not just about how things look when people are watching.

Meet John

I'm running to represent Ohio's 12th district in Congress to stand with everyone who can't afford to buy a politician.

As a farmer, small-business owner and native of rural Ohio, I've seen firsthand the importance of economic opportunity for everyone - especially those on the other side of power.

If we want to deliver on our national promise that hard work will pay off, we have to start by electing representatives who understand what that promise really means.

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