Mary Lightbody

Ohio State House District 19

2020 Race Update: Mary won 56.20% to 43.80%

Mary Lightbody has an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a doctorate in science education from Ohio State. For the last 28 years she has been in K-12 and university classrooms in central Ohio teaching science and the gifted in the Columbus, Hilliard, and Westerville schools. For the last 14 years, she has taught future teachers at Otterbein and Ohio State Newark how to teach science to their students in Ohio schools and to take full advantage of technology available to support teaching and learning. And with help from EveryDistrict, she has been a member of the Ohio House of Representatives since January 2019.

She started out as a country girl, growing up in Pepper Pike, east of Cleveland, when there were fewer houses and far more open land than are there now, and graduated from Orange High School. She married a guy from Tiffin, Ohio whom she met at college. While her husband, Rick, was enrolled in a PhD program in environmental engineering at MIT he learned during a routine physical that his kidneys were failing, and that he would be on dialysis within the next 18 months.

They addressed the issue by arranging to do Rick’s hemodialysis treatments at home, which meant their three children grew up with their father hooked to a dialysis machine in the family room three nights a week. Rick eventually got a kidney transplant, but after 16 years his immune system was no longer able to defend him from infections, and after a serious but brief illness and hospitalization in the fall of 2009 he came home, and died a few days later in his sleep.

Mary ran for the Ohio House of Representatives in 2018 and was able to flip the district.  She has worked tirelessly to support residents in the district with their issues, and recently introduced bills to curb distracted driving, to set maximum levels for “forever chemicals” in Ohio drinking water, and to prohibit conversion therapy for LGBT youth under 18. She has regular office hours in the district three weeks out of four, and regularly attends meetings and events in the district.  Her slogan “Doing does it” has been in evidence, and she reports that she loved the job!