Janet Garrett has twice failed to unseat Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan in races for the heavily-Republican 4th U.S. Congressional District.
But the retired Oberlin school teacher isn’t giving up and this week filed to run again in the May primary, hoping voters will send her to Washington.
Many have asked why she is bothering with a third bid after significant back-to-back losses, Garrett wrote in a campaign letter to supporters.
“Those who know me well aren’t so quick to wonder,” she said. “My entire adult life has been consumed by political engagement as a dutiful citizen. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a particular inkling to right as many wrongs in our society as I can. As difficult as it is to describe, I’ve always been consumed by this passion.”
That’s why she decided to become a teacher, and what drew her to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer.
Since the 1980s, Garrett has been politically active in campaigns for Michael Dukakis and President Barack Obama, and fighting against Ohio’s anti-union attacks under Senate Bill 5.
“After I had been redistricted into Jim Jordan’s district, I approached him at his first debate in Lorain County with my concerns. I told him, ‘I’m a woman, a teacher, a union leader, and a member of the middle class, and I know you stand against all of that,’” she wrote. “Instead of reassuring me that he heard my concerns and cared about them, he talked about his own policy positions, shocking me to my core with his extreme stances on everything from Social Security benefits to health care to education.”
In 2014, prompted by Rep. Marcy Kaptur at a Women’s Caucus, she decided to run for office against Jordan.
She lost that year in a 67.7 to 32.3 percent vote and again in 2016 by a nearly identical margin.
In the May primary, Garrett will face three Democrats seeking the party’s nomination: Norbert Denneril Jr. of Elyria, Leah Sellers of Marysville, and Cody James Slatzer-Rose of New Albany.
Jordan, the incumbent, has opposition from fellow Republican Joseph Miller of Marion.