Rick Neal, humanitarian activist from Columbus, challenges Steve Stivers in a bid for U.S. Congress

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Rick Neal, a former international aid worker, is launching a campaign today for Congress in Ohio’s 15th District against incumbent Steve Stivers.

“It’s time we had a Congress that works for all of us,” said Neal. “This district deserves a representative who will work hard for better-paying jobs, an end to the opioid epidemic and affordable healthcare for everyone. Steve Stivers left us behind last year when he took a new job raising money for his fellow Republicans in Congress—and then voted to kick thousands of his constituents off their health insurance.”

Neal has dedicated his life to service and advocacy. He is not a politician and this is his first run for elected office. He joined the Peace Corps after college, working in Morocco for five years as a teacher and health educator. After earning a master’s degree in public health, he went back overseas, going wherever the need was greatest. He launched a hospital reconstruction project in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban and made sure refugees fleeing ethnic massacres in Congo had access to clean water.

In 2014, following the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, he went to Liberia to join a team setting up a 100-bed field hospital that could treat patients in a safe and humane setting. “The most important lesson I learned,” Neal offered, “was to not be afraid to stand up and take action when called, no matter the obstacles.”

Neal lives in the German Village neighborhood of Columbus with his husband, Tom Grote, and their two adopted daughters. He grew up in the suburbs of Milwaukee and Chicago; his mother was a housewife and community volunteer and his father was a road machinery salesman who hails from a southern Illinois coal town.

“I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and work with everyone interested in what’s going to benefit the diverse communities of our district,” Neal said. “It’s time to do better for Ohio.”

For more information, visit rickneal.com.