Former Miss Ohio USA Favored in Ohio-13

Former Miss Ohio USA Favored in Ohio-13 madison gesiotto gilbert speaks at a rally Republican congressional candidate Madison Gesiotto Gilbert speaks at a rally in Delaware, Ohio, on April 23. (Joe Maiorana/AP)

John Gizzi By John Gizzi Monday, 07 November 2022 08:45 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

In one of the most closely-watched — and easily one of the most intriguing — contests for the U.S. House, signs are strong that the last-minute momentum in Ohio's 13th District is with Republican Madison Gesiotto Gilbert over liberal state House Democrat leader Emilia Sykes.

The 13th District is the redrawn Akron and Canton-based district that Democrat Tim Ryan relinquished to run for the U.S. Senate. Sykes, 36, whose father and mother represented her legislative district before her (father Vernon is now a state senator), was considered the initial favorite. But a GQR poll conducted shortly after the Democratic primary showed the race to be a standoff: Sykes 47% and political newcomer Gilbert 45%.

Gilbert, a lawyer and Miss Ohio USA (who represented the Buckeye State in the 2014 Miss USA pageant), was an early supporter of former President Donald Trump. The former president, in turn, endorsed her in the crowded Republican primary for the seat.

In the last few weeks, Sykes, who has the backing of national pro-choice groups such as EMILY's List, has hit hard at Gilbert for her strong pro-life stand. The Republican hopeful, 30, has never backed down and freely discusses her opposition to abortion. But she also hits back at "career politicians" who, she charges, have caused inflation and what she calls "burdensome regulations."

Last weekend, Republican National Chair Ronna McDaniel campaigned with Gilbert. Also stumping hard with her was the candidate's husband, a one-time offensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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