Local business owner and leader Gina Collinsworth (R) has taken out petitions to run for the Ohio House of Representatives’ 90th District, currently occupied by Mr. Terry Johnson (R), in hopes of continuing positive momentum in the state, while representing her hardworking corner of southern Ohio.
“I‘m running for office, because I want to keep Southern Ohio moving forward,” Collinsworth stated in a one-on-one with the Portsmouth Daily Times. “I want to help, and I have the experience, the education and the heart to work hard with others who are making a difference. I believe, if we work together, we can overcome any challenges. We are starting to make things happen in our area, and we want to keep moving forward.”
Collinsworth became a functioning part of the community early in life, when she began singing in her church choir at the age of six. She then pursued musical studies and a career in the field with her husband, Larry Collinsworth. The two have had success in their music and 26-year marriage. They currently own a knowledge-based business, selling original music to television shows and film companies.
Collinsworth said that she and her husband’s careers are remote and, while she could work anywhere, she couldn’t imagine working outside of the Appalachian foothills she calls home.
While music is one of her greatest joys, she is also an educated professional and self-proclaimed lifelong learner who received her degree in English at Shawnee State University and her Master’s Degree from the University of Cincinnati. With these skills, she has worked as a teacher in the past seven years, instructing youth of all ages up to the college level.
She is also well-known for her many accomplishments in public relations, in which she served the area as the Community Relations and Development Director for The Counseling Center and Compass Community Health, where she worked for five years.
“For the past seven years, I have worked in the community to connect others to resources like education, health care, addiction treatment and youth drug prevention programs. And, as your state representative I promise to be the person who works to bring people together and bring opportunities to our area that will improve our community and our lives.”
Collinsworth explained that she believes Ohio is poised to see positive results in a plethora of areas. She attributes this success to hardworking Ohioans and believes that she would be a positive voice for them on the hill.
“I know there are opportunities out there that we can bring here to the area to continue all the good work that’s been done. Our greatest resource is our people, who are honest and hardworking,” Collinsworth explained. “They deserve to see the same opportunities that others have access to, like good paying jobs, education and skills training, quality healthcare and safe communities.”
Collinsworth plans to focus a lot of her energy on jobs and education, but has a large list of goals she would like to accomplish. Most of what she hopes to see done will stem from building high-functioning teams of people from all walks of life, professionals and volunteers.
“If we want progress, we should focus on building teams and support projects and ideas that will improve our lives and the lives of our families,” Collinsworth said. “We want to focus on jobs and job training, and the opioid epidemic that has spread to communities like ours across the nation. I want to focus on helping our veterans and their families that have sacrificed so much to ensure the freedoms we enjoy in our great state and our great country. I want to know what our citizens are thinking and how I can help. Most of all, I want to focus on hope. I believe our best days are ahead. Everyone loves a good comeback story, and we are going to rise up again. I’m a forward thinker with traditional values, and if we keep working together, I know we will get there.”
Collinsworth said that the resilience of her home and its people has inspired her to run, which will reflect in her work and accomplishments. All of what she hopes to accomplish will benefit those she proudly calls friend and neighbor.
“I want to promote our area, our values and our people. I know it is one of the most beautiful and special places on the planet, and it’s worth working for.
We don’t want to slide back. We want to keep moving forward. Keep working on our problems and solving them for our families. We want to create a community where hard work, fairness and telling the truth matters.
In the last 7 years, I have been working in the community to connect people to resources like education, health care, addiction recovery and youth prevention programs. I have seen people come together and I know we live in a community that takes care of others.
When there is a problem, we work to fix it, and we will not be defined by the addiction epidemic that is spreading across the state and nation. We should be proud of all we have built, the successful small businesses, award-winning schools and community groups of volunteers making a difference.
There are many people who believe in our community and care. Let’s keep the focus on improving people’s lives. Let’s work together on issues that will mean a difference for the people that live, work and raise a family in our beautiful region.”
Collinsworth hasn’t had an official announcement as of yet, but has already received an outpour of support, not only from her friends, family, and associates in southern Ohio, but from other elected officials as well. Collinsworth stated that party members have been very open to speaking with her about her campaign and have been welcoming of her presence into the 2018 arena.
Collinsworth will be welcoming people at her first public announcement on Jan. 25, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Lofts at 842 Gallia Street.
“My family taught me to work hard, be fair, tell the truth, save for the future and give back. These family values guide me in every decision I make,” Collinsworth said. “I want to be our next State Representative, because this is a pivotal time for Southern Ohio. We have made good progress. Community leaders, citizens and business leadership, and people from all walks of life are coming together, to work together and tackle some tough issues. We have made progress, and I see this as my chance to give back and to help the community keep moving forward.”