Republicans call local Statehouse candidate’s stance on abortion into question

Sara Carruthers, candidate for the Ohio 51st House District

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Sara Carruthers, candidate for the Ohio 51st House District

A 2016 Facebook post by a candidate for this year’s 51st Ohio House District expressing her opinions on LBGTQ issues and abortion is being questioned by her opponents and other conservatives.

But Sara Carruthers said she’s a pro-life candidate, and she holds an endorsement by the Ohio Right to Life PAC. She’s the Butler County GOP’s endorsed candidate for the Statehouse race.

“I’m pleased the Right to Life community chose to embrace my strengthened pro-life position,” she said. “I’m disturbed that some politicians are trying to take issue with my commitment to the pro-life cause by distorting social comments I made in the past.”

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According to a screenshot, the 2016 post reads: “Here’s my deal folks. I really like seeing pictures of you and all your families and sharing in your joys, concerns and sorrows. I am a middle of the road conservative in my politics, and actually am pretty familiar with politicians from both parties. I totally support LBGTQ and abortion at a reasonable time of pregnancy. Those of you that truly know me, know that. For those of you that just want to pick at things I post, please unfollow me. I have my views and you have yours. I am well educated and do keep tabs on what is going on in the world. You either like me or you don’t. I can handle disagreement but meanness, shaming and name calling have no place in my life. I’ve been around 54 years and I am doing just fine thank you.”

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This is a screen capture of a post on Sara Carruthers’ Facebook page that have some Republicans questioning her pro-life stance.

Credit: SUBMITTED

This is a screen capture of a post on Sara Carruthers’ Facebook page that have some Republicans questioning her pro-life stance.

Credit: SUBMITTED

Combined ShapeCaption
This is a screen capture of a post on Sara Carruthers’ Facebook page that have some Republicans questioning her pro-life stance.

Credit: SUBMITTED

Credit: SUBMITTED

Her opponents say Carruthers has a right to her positions but the voting public also has a right to know before they cast their votes in the May 8 primary election.

“From her Facebook post, which was written in 2016, she states her position on abortion,” said Greg Jolivette, one of Carruthers’ two opponents for the Statehouse office. “It appears her position changed, and I believe the voters will have to decide for (themselves) if she changed it for a matter of convenience or not.”

Ohio Rep. Wes Retherford, who was endorsed by the Cincinnati Right to Life over Carruthers, said if pro-life matters are important to voters, "they have to look at what the record says and not somebody that says they're pro-life."

Screen captures of Carruthers’ posts have been circulated among Butler County Republicans. Lori Viars, the Warren County GOP Central Committee treasurer, shared Carruthers’ post on her Facebook account.

“I’d like to say I was shocked, but it’s happened multiple times with Ohio Right to Life endorsees,” said Viars. “I’m more concerned about that Ohio Right to Life often endorses candidates that are less pro-life, and that happens all over the state.”

Viars called the post a “pro-abortion statement.” She went on to say that Ohio Right to Life has been an organization “not be trusted,” saying while they have endorsed “champions of the pro-life movement” they have also endorsed candidates for office with little to no — and sometimes opposing — views to the pro-life movement.

Butler County GOP Executive Chairman Todd Hall said his party is standing behind its endorsement of Carruthers.

“It has come to my attention that the endorsement of Sara Carruthers by the Ohio Right to Life PAC has come under fire from certain individuals. I am pleased with the commitment she has made to the race for state representative, especially a first-time candidate, by studying the issues in such an in-depth manner,” Hall said. “I applaud the Right to Life for having the conviction in join the Butler County Republican Party in endorsing Sara Carruthers and strongly support a caring and compassionate conservative that will represent Butler County with honor and distinction.”

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