Prizm News / August 21, 2018 / By Bob Vitale

Above: Lis Kenneth Regula was on hand to talk with voters at the Streetsboro Family Days Festival in July. Top: Regula chats with Randi Clites, a candidate for the Ohio House from District 75, and U.S. Rep, Tim Ryan of Niles at the Portage County Democratic Party Chair’s Circle Benefit in July. (Top photo by Gerald D. Biggerstaff / above photo by the Regula campaign via Facebook)


Lis Kenneth Regula, a University of Akron professor, is running for Portage County auditor in the Nov. 6 electons.


By Bob Vitale

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Ohio’s first openly transgender political candidate was endorsed today by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, an organization that works to elect LGBTQ people to offices nationwide.

Lis Kenneth Regula, a Democrat from Kent who’s running for Portage County auditor, is challenging six-term incumbent Republican Janet Esposito for the office that sets property values and keeps an eye on county government spending.

He’s currently a biology professor at the University of Akron.

“A rainbow wave is coming in November, with more LGBTQ candidates positioned to win historic races and high-level offices than at any other time in American history,” said Annise Parker, the former mayor of Houston who’s now president & CEO of the Victory Fund.

“Voters are choosing LGBTQ candidates in red states and blue states not because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, but because they are authentic candidates with positive and inclusive agendas. A surge in LGBTQ political power come November is critical not just because the LGBTQ community needs us, but because America needs us.”

The Victory Fund has estimated that more than 400 LGBTQ Americans will be on the ballot across the country this fall for local, state and federal offices.

Regula told Prizm today that his campaign is on track in Portage County, three-quarters of the way to its fundraising goals even before the boost likely to come with the national attention and donation link on the Victory Fund website.

He said he’s looking to get Kent State University students engaged in his and other progressive campaigns as soon as fall semester classes begin Thursday.

“If anything can bring the Blue Wave we keep hearing about, it’s the millions of people across the U.S. that are all pushing in the same directionforward,” he said.

The Victory Fund has endorsed three other LGBTQ Ohioans in the Nov. 6 elections:

• Out lesbian Nickie Antonio, the first LGBTQ person elected to the Ohio House in 2010, who is running this year to be the first LGBTQ Ohioan elected to the state Senate. She’s the Democratic nominee in the 23rd Ohio Senate District, which includes western neighborhoods of Cleveland, Lakewood and Parma.

John McManus, an openly gay member of the Dayton school board who is running as a Democrat for the Ohio House in District 41, which includes the southeast corner of Dayton, Kettering, Oakwood and Centerville.

Rick Neal, an openly gay Democrat who’s challenging anti-LGBTQ U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District, which includes parts of Columbus, its western and southern suburbs, and areas from Athens to Wilmington.

A total of 11 LGBTQ candidates are seeking office across Ohio in the Nov. 6 elections.
Twitter: @Bob_Vitale


Bob Vitale
A Toledo native and graduate of Toledo Public Schools, Bob has worked as a local government and politics reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, as a Washington correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and as editor-in-chief for Outlook Ohio. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from Ball State University and a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.