In the past, we have highlighted different events in the area and the main goal for this column is to promote Portsmouth. I want my readers to be able to see the POSITIVES in our town. This includes people. I will be including “Portsmouth Professionals” from time to time and there’s no one I think more fitting for the inception than local attorney Rachel Daehler. (Sorry Tim Wolfe)
I’ve known Rachel for many years and have seen the work she has done and the commitment she has to Portsmouth firsthand. We sat down for an interview with the HARD-HITTING questions.
Daehler is a young professional in our area. She’s 32 (Yes, I told her age) and she had been interested in law/politics the majority of her life. She told me her father Jerry can remember coming in as she watched the OJ Simpson trial in 1995 and then he knew what her future would bring. She is a child at 8 years old already enthralled by law and the courtroom scenes. I can remember the case as well, my interest stemmed from how OJ could drive that long and not need to get any gas. What does a 93’ Ford Bronco get per gallon – 6 mpg? If that.
As the years past, she continued to be interested in law, and politics as well. She worked the Kerry/Edwards ticket as a volunteer, and then later for the Ted Strickland. Rachel is a hometown girl. She graduated in 2005 from Portsmouth High School and went to Shawnee State University studying International Relations. She graduated Summa Cum Laude. (Impressive) Next, she was onto Capital University for law school. She focused on Criminal Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (essentially mediation) She graduated Magna Cum Laude. (Equally impressive) At times you’ll see people change their minds after undergrad or lose their passion and commitment to the “big picture.” She didn’t.
After law school, Rachel joined the Licking County Prosecutor Office as an Assistant Prosecutor. I asked her if she was happy with this job. She loved it. It was criminal law, there was never a dull moment. It becomes evident here that Daehler enjoys a challenge and works tirelessly. She then moved to Charleston, South Carolina with her family and took a job as counsel for a manufacturing company. This job had its pros and cons. It was a good salary; it was good work. The commute was tough. 1 ½ hour back and forth from work to home would take a toll on a person. Sometimes my 5-minute commute is rough!
Rachel was at a crossroads. She had a young son and needed to make a decision. Does she focus on her career solely and miss out on a childhood and being the best mother, she could be? Rachel and her family decided to come home. The saying is “Home is where the heart is.” Her heart was in Portsmouth.
Once home she joined a local law firm and got to work. The fire that burned inside her was still for politics. Her true passion and calling are helping out our community. An opportunity presented itself when she ran for Scioto County Prosecutor in 2018. I can now speak from experience, running a campaign is tough. She believed being out of the area for some time she had insight and ideas that would be new to Portsmouth and help push things along. In November of 2018 she ran and was defeated by current Scioto County Prosecutor Shane Tieman. I’ll give her credit. She was extremely supportive of the work he is currently doing and it’s clear her passion is with our town. No sour grapes.
I then asked her how she felt after the defeat. What would you do if you strike out on your first attempt? I was waiting for many different answers. I thought how I would respond if someone asked me if I lost my campaign. Again, she showed what makes her one of Portsmouth’s Professionals. Someone to highlight. She smiled and said she needed to push on and continue to help our area. It would be easy to just crumble and give up. To say woe is me. She didn’t. She picked herself up by her bootstraps and made a plan for her professional future. She left the law firm she was with and for a time met clients at the law library. In February of 2019, she moved into an office at E-Flow Development Group and has been hitting the ground running ever since.
This is where I can speak for her. I see her coming into her office early and staying late. She’s always on time and truly works for her clients and for the betterment of Portsmouth. I don’t take this column lightly and I want it to focus on the “bright” people we have. We are lucky. I asked her where she sees herself in a year – in 5 years. She wants to continue to build her practice, most importantly she wants to continue to fight for our community and lend a helping hand. Politics again one day? Never say never. Whether it’s as a court-appointed attorney, with a private client, or helping organizations like The Counseling Center. Her drive is there. I asked her to tell me something she wanted Portsmouth to know. She said, “I’ve been in different places, in different communities, but there is truly nowhere else she’d rather be. Portsmouth is special.” I hope you take from this column a story of resilience, a story of continuing to keep trying and pushing when life changes. That’s what life is about. We all get thrown a curveball from time to time, sometimes it seems like its never-ending. Take this story. If your heart is in the right place, and you have that fire in you then – keep pushing. Believe in what you do and fight for it. She can be reached at 740-414-3529 and her office is located at 347 3rd Street Portsmouth, Ohio 45662.