“I'll fight for affordable and available health care, for a better local economy and, as the product of a struggling middle class family in Painesville and a Navy combat veteran, the only marching orders I take will be from the hard working people of Northeast Ohio.”
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Navy Veteran Hillary O’Connor Mueri, call sign “Toro,” arrived on the scene at Parma General Hospital on April 23, 1977. From the age of three, home was Painesville, Ohio. Growing up, her mother was a schoolteacher and OEA member, and her father was a welder and UAW member. As a child, her family saw first-hand the impact of a changing economy when her father was laid off from his job at General Motors at Coit Road when the plant closed barely three years after moving the family. She has lived the economic insecurity many families in Ohio face, and she feels, bone-deep, its effect on Ohio communities.
From her earliest days, it was clear that Hillary would not back down from a challenge. At age five, she was in a school play about the alphabet. When it was her turn, she walked on stage, head high, stomped her foot, and declared: “I am Miss O and I’m obstinate!” Ever tenacious in pursuing her goals, that little girl grew up to fly combat missions in a fighter jet with the callsign “Toro” emblazoned on the side.
Always willing to take on challenges, Hillary began taking classes at Lake Erie College while still in high school, then later studied Aviation Engineering at THE Ohio State University. There, Hillary quickly realized she didn’t want to just design fighter aircraft, she wanted to fly them. Combined with a calling to serve her country, Hillary knew the path forward. But, due to an accident, Hillary started her freshman year at OSU on crutches. Without good union-earned health care, that injury would have jeopardized her future flying in the Navy. That's why Hillary knows how important it is to have quality health care. In a hurry to be done healing — and because O stands for Obstinate — Hillary dropped the crutches as soon as she could to train for the Navy’s physical readiness test and joined ROTC.
The Navy lifted the ban on women flying in combat in 1993. Beginning flight school in 1999, Hillary was in one of the first generations of women flight officers trained from the ground up to fly in combat. A Naval Flight Officer, Hillary flew F-14s, F/A-18s, and F-16s for the U.S. Navy, including 12 combat missions in Tomcats over Iraq. She braved anti-aircraft artillery fire in order to provide close air support to imperiled ground troops. And when she was back on the carrier and her pilot’s wife was expecting? Hillary knit the baby a sweater. Because why not — Toro also knits.
After her military service, Hillary earned her law degree and was hired by one of the nation’s biggest law firms. With her engineering background and countless hours in a cockpit, she was a natural for solving problems within the aviation industry. She focused her practice on aviation product liability litigation, determining how mishaps occur and how to prevent them in the future. True to her values, she also dedicated herself to pro bono work and sought justice for folks in need. With these experiences in mind, Hillary knows that the problems Ohioans face can be solved, and families’ lives can be made more economically secure through a combination of relentless determination and common sense — of which she has no shortage.
And now, Hillary “Toro” O’Connor Mueri, ready to serve her Country again, is running for Congress in Northeast Ohio. When Hillary faces obstacles, she goes over — or through — them, and now she sees obstacles being put in the way of the families right here where she grew up. Our political system is broken. Career politicians like Congressman David Joyce are taking their marching orders from corporate donors while people in Ohio are facing real problems. Hillary is running because she knows it’s time to put Northeastern Ohio families ahead of Wall Street, big corporations, and special interests. Hillary will work to improve our economy and bring good paying jobs back to our community — the kind you can raise a family on. She is running because regular people shouldn’t be an accident away from economic disaster. That's why she will fight for quality health care that is available, affordable, and universal. But most of all, Hillary is running for Congress because she is a product of a struggling middle class family in Painesville, Ohio, and it's time somebody put us first. Ohioans deserve a representative who understands them, who can speak for them, and who will fight for them and their needs. And Toro will never stop fighting for Ohio.