Contribute Now

Meet Jaime Castle

Why am I running for Congress?

If you had told me not too long ago that I would be running for Congress, I would not have believed you. But fear collapses the imagination and life has a funny way of surprising you now and again. I, like many, started to pay a lot more attention to politics in 2016. The campaigns leading up to the election that year, as well as the results, were something stranger to me than fiction. What was left after the dust settled was a toxic divide, a culture of fear and distrust, and the dismantling of progress. Of course, many marginalized persons had warned us.

I know we are better than this. So every year since, I have kept more informed regarding how our leaders were representing us and I firmly believe that too many do not have the people’s best interests at heart. Folks have finally started talking about politics; the old notion of avoiding it because it could be uncomfortable is no longer an option. Too much was simmering below the surface, in part because we didn’t talk—and never learned to do so with respect for one another—the “melting pot” that so many have called our nation has begun singing a loud warning whistle.

I soon realized my House representative, incumbent Brad Wenstrup, was part of this problem—avoiding the difficult conversations, avoiding the constituents he is supposed to serve, proposing no real solutions—only partisan rhetoric. As 2019 came to an end, I, like many of you, assumed someone else would take care of it. Someone with a career in politics, someone who has dedicated their life to the endeavor of “for the people, by the people.” But then I started looking for names and realized: no one was stepping up to fix this.

So I raised my hand. I am one of the people too. I can do this too. Any of us can. This is what our founders envisioned: when politicians are leading us away from our best selves, we can take the reins back.

From the moment I stepped up to serve, I have been inundated with support and encouragement from folks just like you. I have been overwhelmed with the gratitude that I have been shown and the help that has been offered to me. I imagine a Representative who works for the people of Ohio’s 2nd congressional district and not the special interest groups that harm us and stifle progress, and I have no fear regarding the hard work that it will take to make that a reality.

What your vote for me means and a bit about me:

I am not a career politician. I have both roots and branches in the east and west of District 2, putting me in touch with what people need and want from their government. There is a lot of distrust of politicians today, on both sides of the aisle, and deservedly so. Are they in government to serve the people’s best interests or are they catering to corporate special interest groups that finance their next run for office? We need more people from more varied backgrounds serving in government, to reflect more of the public that they serve. We definitely need more women, people of color, and LGBT people in Congress to better represent the diversity of America and the diversity of needs to be met. Businesses today recognize the value of diverse perspectives for both product quality and bottom line. But too often career politicians are too focused on the next win instead of listening to their constituents’ diverse needs, and their demands to reform and implement important programs that affect everyone’s lives.

I plan to travel across our district, to listen to people and to partner with them to get important work done. I promise to never lose touch with those who put me in office, and I promise to always represent their needs first. A vote for me means that your voice will be heard and that I will have your interest’s in heart and mind at all times.

Professionally, I am an educator and small business owner. While nine months pregnant with my son, I started working as a seamstress. I employed students from the University of Cincinnati’s prestigious DAAP program and served many clients, ranging from individuals across the globe to bigger clients like local restaurants (Boca, Nada, Sotto, Tela, and Kaze), Procter and Gamble, and Warner Brothers Studios. Excellent customer service and building relationships with clients were very important to me during this time. I acquired the skills an entrepreneur needs, and learned the many challenges that a small business owner faces in this country. I hope to bring that agility and experience to bear on my work in Congress.

As my children have gotten older (my daughter is now eleven and my son is nine), I lessened the amount of sewing projects that I took on and instead became more active in their schools.

My own schooling background includes graduating from Roger Bacon High School in 1995 and Miami University in 1999. From Miami University I received a B.S. in Secondary Education with a focus on Communications and a Reading Endorsement. After years of volunteering in my children’s schools, even serving as the PTO President, I decided to return to the classroom as a teacher for Cincinnati Public Schools. Lately, I have been dividing my time substitute teaching at three schools (Mt. Washington School, Hyde Park School, and Walnut Hills High School). When I taught full-time in my own classroom before marriage and my two children, I taught English and directed the theater productions at Roger Bacon High School. Now I get to teach it all: Pre-K through 12th grade, all subjects, including specials like art, gym, music, and Latin. It is a very dynamic role and calls for me to be nimble, quick to learn, and good with people; especially in anticipating and understanding their needs. Repairing education systems is a priority for me; I am in touch with the struggles and successes that occur in America’s classrooms, because I’ve lived them as both an active parent and educator.

Being in touch with the people across our diverse district is one thing that makes me stand out. I grew up in Greenhills, Ohio and currently reside with my family in Mt. Washington. My parents and additional family live in Cherry Fork in Adams County (one of the beautiful rural counties in our district).

“For the people, by the people:” that’s what we teach our kids in schools. I am so excited for the opportunity to prove that possible. I’m not waiting for someone else to step up and make our world better—we all can make that difference for ourselves. I hope you will join me on my journey—follow me on social media, support the campaign with a contribution, and/or volunteer to help in many ways.

With Appreciation,
Jaime Castle