Perrysburg woman is first Muslim to run for Ohio Senate

Reem Subei (WTOL)
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PERRYSBURG, Ohio (WTOL) — The first Muslim in history to be running for Ohio State Senate is from Perrysburg.

Reem Subei is a civil rights legal aid attorney who has lived in Perrysburg her entire adult life. She will be running as a Democrat in District 2, a seat currently occupied by Republican Theresa Gavarone.

"It really represents the beauty and diversity of our nation, we have first amendment free speech rights and first amendment freedom to practice religion and all people should be part of the composition of our statehouse," Subei said.

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Subei was inspired to run for Ohio Senate through her job at Able, a nonprofit law firm. She said it sets her up well to represent a wide range of people since that's already something she does on a daily basis.

"I have a lot of experience and training writing legislation. Part of what I do at my job is to help city councils and community members that need legislation drafted to improve the civil rights and the rights of their constituents," Subei said.

She also said she realizes the significance of just stepping into the race.

"I'm told I'm the first Muslim person to run for the Ohio Senate and if elected or when elected, I'm told I would be the first Muslim in the Ohio Statehouse," Subei said.

For her, there are two major things she wants to help change, mainly in the areas of education and healthcare reform.

"Medicaid expansion gets most of its funding from the federal government. Ohio as a state has to invest so little. we should not be adding work eligibility requirements. That is something I want to work on when I get into office," Subei said.

She believes her years at Able, which serves 32 counties in Northwest Ohio, prepared her to work alongside the Republican-majority state legislature in Ohio.

"It gives me the ability and the history of interacting with all different kinds of people that live across my district and know how to negotiate and how to discuss their needs.," Subei said.