Leap Forward
Citizen Advocacy Group


I reached out to filed candidates in the state of Ohio last week, well in advance of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Looking back on their responses as I sat to write these endorsements, it's striking to me how prophetic many of their words were. This is especially true of US House candidate Shawna Roberts, who replied:

I am a supporter of common-sense gun safety laws. I also support the 2nd amendment. This is not a contradiction, because as a nation we have always balanced personal freedoms with community responsibility.

As with all of our constitutional rights, we need to be careful to maintain the right, while protecting the community. Thomas Jefferson said, "My right to extend my arm ends at your nose." If our right to guns causes other Americans to lose their right to life, we need to examine the laws with an eye to bringing that right back into balance.

Ms. Roberts is, like many of the candidates I've profiled here, a political newcomer. A Chicago native, she went to college in California but always dreamed of living in the country. She and her husband made this a reality in 2002 when they moved their beekeeping company to Belmont County. After the recession, her husband found work as a truck driver and Shawna worked part time in the fast food industry while raising their five children. On her campaign website, she lays out why she's a candidate:

Every day, people ask me why I decided to run for the U.S. House of Representatives. This is a fair question. I am not one the usual suspects. I am not wealthy. Not influential. Not powerful. I am like you. I am a middle-aged mother who lives in a house in the country three miles from the nearest paved road. I have spent the last twenty years raising my five children and working part-time. I’m a Nobody from Nowhere, and Nobodies don’t usually run for Congress, in our country. And that's been one of our biggest problems, because the self-appointed Somebodies in our current government simply don't understand what we need to improve the lives of the ordinary people who live, work, and raise their families in our communities. I'm Shawna Roberts, and I'm like you.

Roberts' platform - especially when it comes to firearms - is well suited to her district, and would uphold the values of rural Ohio while providing needed improvement over Mr. Johnson's rejection of even the most modest reforms. We applaud Ms. Robert's decision to throw her hat into the ring, and endorse her both in the May 8 Democratic primary and the November 6 general election.


Progressives of Ohio

March 2, 2018

COLUMBUS – The Democratic Progressives of Ohio announced this morning their endorsement of Shawna Roberts (D-Belmont) for Congresswoman of the Ohio 6th District in the 2018 election. This marks the statewide group’s fourth Congressional endorsement of the 2018 cycle.


“Shawna Roberts represents what we are seeing all across America this year – ordinary citizens who have been inspired to get involved in public service, and who are working their hearts out doing it,” said Thomas Chahine, Chairman of the organization.


“We’ve come to know Shawna through a number of events this year, and believe she is clearly the best Democratic, progressive voice for this district.”


The Ohio 6th District is a sprawling district running along the Ohio River, encompassing most of the heart of Appalachia. It stretches from suburban Boardman in the northeast of the state, all the way to Portsmouth and Ironton at the southern tip. Roberts has resided in the Ohio 6th District for 16 years, and comes from a hardworking family. A former small business owner, she was hit like so many businesses by the 2008 recession, which required her to close her doors. Since that time, she and her husband work in the service industries – but her most important job is that of a proud mother.


The Democratic Progressives of Ohio is a statewide umbrella organization supporting dozens of progressive and Democratic groups. Their mission is “Uniting Democrats, One Person at a Time,” according to their website.


"I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Democratic Progressives of Ohio (DPO),” said Roberts. “I am very excited to join forces with them during this election cycle.”

"We share the core values that this great nation was founded on, that all people are created equal; that we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect; and that liberty and justice involve not just personal freedoms, but community responsibilities as well,” Roberts continued.

“I look forward to a rewarding partnership with the amazing folks at the DPO, as we unite to create a more equal, prosperous nation, preserving the ideal of government of the people, by the people, for the people.”


More information about Shawna Roberts can be found at www.shawnarobertsforcongress2018.org, and more about the organization at www.dpoh.org.

Shawna Roberts (OH-06) became involved with her local Indivisible group, Marchers Ohio Valley Empowered (MOVE), after the 2016 election and participated in die-ins at Sen. Rob Portman’s office during the Trumpcare fight. Shawna and her husband have lived in rural Ohio for nearly two decades and she wants to tackle the ways government in DC fails rural communities: she will combat rural hospital closures, and fight for investment in rural broadband access and ending the opioid epidemic. If she wins her primary on May 8, she’ll take on Rep. Bill Johnson in November.

Dear Shawna:

Congratulations! You have been endorsed by the Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE/AFSCME Local 4, AFL-CIO).

OAPSE represents more than 34,000 working men and women who perform critical services in our public schools; public libraries; community and technical colleges;Head Start agencies: and boards of the developmentally disabled.

The endorsement will be conveyed to all of our members, and our grass roots political operation will be encouraged to participate in your election efforts. We wish you every success in this election and look forward to working with you in the future for a better Ohio.

Shawna Roberts is running for Congress in Ohio’s 6th Congressional District. A former beekeeper who always wanted to live in the country, she believes “District 6 is one of the most beautiful places on earth.” Roberts’ policy priorities include real tax reform, a living wage, Medicare and Medicaid expansion, expanding access to high-speed internet, high quality education, repairing roads and bridges, reducing greenhouse gases and combating pollution, reducing opioid addiction, and gun reform. Roberts is a Quaker and an ally of the secular community.