AURORA — Local resident John Kennedy, a Democratic candidate for state representative from District 76, says he will run 142 miles to the Statehouse in Columbus at the end of September.
He plans to begin the run from his house in Aurora on Sept. 28 and arrive on the steps of the Statehouse the next day or evening.
Kennedy, a Type 1 diabetic and avid ultramarathon runner, said the goal of the run is to bring attention to the rising cost of insulin and other prescription drugs, and to have many citizens — from all walks of life and backgrounds, including candidates for office — run, walk or bike alongside him.
"I’m calling this little trek ‘The Road to Affordable Health Care’, because every tipping point needs a little push and Ohioans are ready to take the next step," said Kennedy.
"I may be doing most of the running, but it is regular Ohioans who have said enough is enough. It’s time to call out these greedy pharmaceutical companies who have put profits over people’s lives. This is when it ends."
Kennedy will carry hundreds of signatures gathered from citizens across Ohio by KOI#insulin4all and T1International, two groups that have called for lower insulin pricing and requiring insulin manufacturers to publicly disclose price increases and profits.
Several states have debated and passed so-called "drug price transparency" laws, and Kennedy said he would put such a measure at the very top of his legislative priority list should he win in November.
"Health care is on the ballot in November," Kennedy said. "This is a moral issue. People are dying because of the astronomical cost of some life-saving prescription drugs. Diabetics are rationing their insulin because a tiny vial of Humalog insulin is now retailing at around $280."
Kennedy is refusing to accept corporate contributions. "My values, my convictions, can’t be bought and paid for," he said.
Because of the rising cost, some diabetics have resorted to public appeals via fundraising sites to offset the cost. "You shouldn’t have to create a GoFundMe page to raise money to buy your insulin," Kennedy said. "It’s time for us — all of us — to stand up, speak out and do what’s right."
Interested runners, walkers and volunteers should refer to Kennedy’s campaign site — JohnKennedyforOhio.com — to sign up and get the latest information about the run.