The national exposure that has come with her accusations of sexual harassment against President Donald Trump has translated into an unprecedented number of individual campaign contributors for Rachel Crooks' Ohio House campaign.
Crooks, 35, a Democrat from Tiffin, collected checks from 1,546 donors across the nation and beyond in this past reporting period, running from Feb. 1 through mid-April.
Crooks was not one of the top fundraisers in terms of pure dollar amount — her $60,300 in that period ranked 23rd among all House candidates — but it's still a decent showing for a first-time candidate running in the minority party.
But no one in the House had anything close to the number or breadth of donors that gave to Crooks’ campaign. Donations came in from every state in the country, plus Armed Forces Europe; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Toronto, Ontario.
"It’s the year of the woman. We have the reaction to Donald Trump, and it’s a change election. Rachel hits all those boxes," said Chis Liebold, who heads the Sandusky County Democratic Party and is managing her campaign. "She’s not a typical politician."
Crooks has told a number of national media outlets her story of how Trump in January 2006 grabbed her and kissed her without her consent while he waited for an elevator at Trump Tower in Manhattan. At the time, she was a 22-year-old receptionist for a real-estate development firm in Trump Tower and he was 59.
Trump has denied her claim, as well as claims made by other women about sexual misconduct on his part.
In November, Crooks will face first-term Rep. Bill Reineke, R-Tiffin, in the 88th District, a Republican-leaning seat that includes Sandusky and Seneca counties.
Just how unusual is her 1,546-donor total?
The 22 House candidates who raised more than Crooks in this past period averaged 98 donors each. Second to Crooks was Kathy Wyenandt, a Democrat from Hamilton who had 202 donors.
In general, Democrats running for state offices in Ohio rely more on quantity of donors than Republicans, whose supporters tend to write checks for larger amounts. Reineke, for example, raised $28,250 during that time from 28 donors.
Crooks’ campaign has found itself cashing a lot of little checks. She got 267 contributions of $5 or less, and 98 percent of her donations were $100 or less.
"It’s amazing the outpouring of support and where it’s come from," Liebold said. "A little bit from everywhere."