June 17, 2021

PHILADELPHIA — Today, 314 Action Fund announced its endorsement of State Rep. Allison Russo in the special election to succeed former Congressman Steve Stivers and represent Ohio’s fifteenth congressional district. As the only upcoming red-to-blue federal race this year, the special election in OH-15 will be critical to protecting Democrats’ pro-science majority in the U.S. House. 

In recent years, OH-15 has persisted as a unique battleground in national and state politics. Despite former President Donald Trump winning the district in both 2016 and 2020, Senator Sherrod Brown carried OH-15 handily during his 2018 re-election. 

“While Republicans scramble to pledge fealty to Donald Trump ahead of the GOP’s crowded primary, Ohio Democrats have a unique opportunity to unite around an incredible science candidate who has already paved the way for women in STEM looking to lead in legislatures across the country,” said Shaughnessy Naughton, president of 314 Action. “Ohioans in the state’s fifteenth congressional district deserve a leader who will fight for policies based on evidence and science. Allison Russo has been a champion of facts-first legislation in the Ohio General Assembly, and she’ll fight just as hard as the next STEM trailblazer in Congress to bring economic prosperity and justice to the people of Ohio.”

“I am grateful for the endorsement and support of 314 Action,” said State Rep. Allison Russo. “As a public health professional and state legislator, I know how important it is that we elect leaders who follow the facts and science. When we win this special election, I promise to deliver commonsense, evidence-informed solutions that will help working Ohioans — not ideological extremists or special interests.” 

Ahead of this key special election, 314 Action Fund will commit its vast resources and six-million-strong membership base of grassroots supporters to ensure that Russo is the Democratic nominee in OH-15. During the 2020 election cycle, 314 Action Fund’s independent expenditure arm spent over $11.5 million in support of science candidates, including significant expenditures in several primary contests.

In 2022, 314 Action Fund will aim to spend $50 million to elect scientists across all levels of government, with initial targets of seven U.S. Senate races, forty U.S. House races (including OH-15), and twenty-one statewide races. In 2020, the organization spent $25 million on behalf of its endorsed candidates and raised a total of $5 million in grassroots donations for scientists running for office.


Allison Russo is currently serving her second term in the Ohio General Assembly. Russo, who is the Ranking Member of the House Health Committee, entered public service with backgrounds in a range of STEM disciplines. Russo holds a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, a master’s degree in public health epidemiology, and a doctoral degree in health policy. This wealth of experience prepared Russo to immediately be an informed and influential figure in the fight for facts-first, evidence-based policymaking in Columbus.

Before being elected to the Ohio General Assembly, Russo was no stranger to health policy. For more than twenty years, Russo advised legislators on ways to improve the affordability and efficiency of health care available to the most vulnerable Ohioans — including veterans, who remain a priority for Russo, a military spouse of a combat veteran.

Russo continues to be heavily involved with her community outside of her legislative office. She is a member of the United Way of Central Ohio’s Women’s Leadership Council and the board of the Upper Arlington Rotary Club. Russo also founded the after-school program Girls Who Lead for young women.

Russo currently serves as the Ranking Member of the House Health Committee, where she has prioritized science and the health of Ohioans over dangerous partisan rhetoric. This is in contrast to Republican members in that committee, who have recently started bringing anti-vaccination radicals in as “expert witnesses,” including one woman whose claims that the COVID-19 vaccine makes people magnetic were widely criticised. If elected to Congress, Russo would continue to fight to expand access to affordable, high-quality health care for Ohioans. 


314 Action Fund is powered by a grassroots community of over six million people working to elect scientists, doctors, and STEM professionals who will use science and facts to address our most pressing issues like climate change and health care. In 2018 and 2020, we played a pivotal role in flipping the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, electing eleven Democratic scientists to federal office, as well as over 100 to state and local offices. In 2021 and 2022, 314 Action Fund will continue working to elect science leaders and defeat climate deniers in Congress and legislatures across the country.