Early Life and Education
Sarah McGervey was born and raised in Ohio. She graduated from St. Ursula Academy in Toledo before attending Miami University in Oxford, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. After college, she returned to northwest Ohio to build her career and start a family.
Early Political Activity
McGervey’s first foray into politics came in 2020, when she volunteered for Jane Timken’s campaign for the U.S. Senate in the Republican primary. Though Timken lost that race, the experience sparked McGervey’s interest in running for office herself. She got further involved with the Ottawa County Republican Party and made connections within the local political scene.
2022 Ohio State Board of Education Race
In early 2022, McGervey announced she would be running for Ohio’s District 2 seat on the State Board of Education. She ran unopposed in the Republican primary and won the nomination.
McGervey faced Democrat Teresa Fedor in the November 8 general election. Fedor had previously served in the Ohio Senate and U.S. House. McGervey campaigned on parental rights, school choice, and opposition to “woke” policies like critical race theory. However, she struggled to gain traction against the well-known Fedor. When the votes were counted, Fedor prevailed by a margin of 55.9% to 44.1%.
2022 Ohio House of Representatives Race
Prior to her State Board of Education run, McGervey also entered the race for Ohio’s 53rd House District in early 2022. She positioned herself as a conservative advocate for education reform and economic growth. However, she lost the four-way Republican primary on August 2nd to Marty Gallagher, taking just 36.9% of the vote to Gallagher’s 63.1%.
With McGervey’s primary defeat, Gallagher went on to win the general election for the seat on November 8. The loss marked the second defeat for McGervey in the 2022 election cycle.
Campaign Fundraising and Spending
Contributions and Expenditures
According to filings with the Ohio Secretary of State, McGervey raised $15,286 in contributions and spent $13,472 during her 2022 state legislative campaign. This trailed other candidates in both parties for that seat.
Her top campaign donors were mainly family members, including $1,800 from her husband Pat McGervey and $1,000 from her mother Kathleen McGervey. She also received support from local GOP groups.
On the spending side, over $5,000 went to various vendors for yard signs, printing, and promotional materials. Other top payees included event venues and the U.S. Postal Service.
Campaign Messaging and Priorities
Platform and Vision
McGervey ran on a fairly typical Republican platform in 2022, emphasizing issues like lower taxes, pro-business policies, Second Amendment rights, and border security. But her passion for education reform took center stage. She advocated for school choice policies and greater parental oversight of curriculum.
While she failed to garner major institutional support, McGervey did receive endorsements from a couple Republican state representatives within her targeted districts. This gave her campaigns some grassroots credibility early on.
Future Prospects and Analysis
Despite her back-to-back losses in 2022, McGervey likely gained valuable experience and name recognition that could benefit her political future. At just 35 years old, she has plenty of time to refine her approach and remain active with the regional GOP.
Challenges Moving Forward
However, McGervey will need to expand her fundraising abilities and policy platform to be a more compelling candidate next time. She was outspent and outperformed by primary and general election opponents in 2022. Connecting with a broader coalition of voters will be key.
Sarah McGervey entered the political arena in 2022 with ambitions to claim a seat at the table impacting Ohio’s education policy. Though the Republican candidate came up short in her two campaigns, she established herself as an emerging voice within the state’s conservative movement. It remains to be seen what’s next for McGervey, but she has youth and energy on her side as she works to build on this initial foray into electoral politics. If she can demonstrate growth as a fundraiser and campaigner, her future prospects in Ohio could still be bright.
What two races did Sarah McGervey run in during the 2022 election cycle?
McGervey ran for the Ohio State Board of Education District 2 seat and the Ohio House District 53 seat.
What were the results of McGervey’s 2022 Ohio State Board of Education race?
McGervey lost in the general election to Democrat Teresa Fedor by a margin of 55.9% to 44.1%.
How did McGervey perform in the Ohio House District 53 Republican primary?
McGervey lost the four-way GOP primary, taking just 36.9% of the vote compared to 63.1% for winner Marty Gallagher.
What were some of McGervey’s key campaign messaging themes and priorities?
McGervey emphasized education reform, parental rights, lower taxes, and pro-business policies. She campaigned against critical race theory.
What are some potential future opportunities and challenges for McGervey?
McGervey gained valuable experience but needs to improve fundraising and messaging. She has time to refine her approach but needs to connect with more voters.