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Republican lawmaker who blamed mass shootings on drag queens loses Senate bid

Candice Keller

Ohio state Rep. Candice Keller made headlines last summer when she refused to resign after blaming drag queens and same-sex marriage for a mass shooting that left nine people dead in Dayton, Ohio. Now, she just lost her bid for the Senate.

In a since-deleted Facebook rant last August, Keller blamed the massacre on “breakdown of the traditional American family,” as well as “transgender, homosexual marriage, and drag queen advocates” and “the culture, which totally ignores the importance of God and the church.”

She also accused her fellow state lawmakers of being “snowflakes” and having “no interest whatsoever in learning about our Constitution and the Second Amendment.”

Despite calls from within her own party to resign, Keller refused, saying: “Establishment moderates have never been fans of mine because I ran against their endorsement and won. As the only conservative in this race, I will be taking my Senate campaign to the voters to decide.”

Well, last week, voters decided. And they picked Keller’s Republican challenger George Lang. Lang beat Keller with 12,339 votes to her 8,107.

And while it’s great Keller will no longer be around to spew her toxic bigotry on the House floor, Lang isn’t exactly a win for LGBTQ people. In 2018, he scored a D with Equality Ohio for her views on LGBTQ rights. (Keller scored an F.) Still, a D is better than an F.

Keller’s term in the Ohio House of Representatives ends on December 31, 2020.

Related: Lawmaker who blamed drag queens for mass shooting in Ohio refuses to resign