Ohio state Rep. Candice Keller says she will not resign after saying that same-sex marriage, transgenderism and disregard for God are partially to blame for the mass shooting in Dayton that left nine people dead.

Ohio GOP Party Chair Jane Timken had asked the Middletown Republican to step down in a statement to the Cincinnati Enquirer after the remarks, saying that they promoted divisiveness rather than the unity needed after a shooting.

“Establishment moderates have never been fans of mine because I ran against their endorsement and won,” Keller told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “As the only conservative in this race, I will be taking my Senate campaign to the voters to decide."

Keller had not responded to initial requests for comment by The Center Square. The Ohio Republican Party did not respond to initial requests for comment about Keller's reaction from The Center Square.

In a Facebook post after the shooting, Keller said that the breakdown of the traditional family structure help a portion of the blame and she included gay marriage, transgenderism and “drag queen advocates” as part of the problem. She also referenced legalized marijuana, the rejection of God and the disregard for the Constitution as part of the problem.

Keller is running for state Senate, but the party establishment is backing her primary opponent, State Rep. George Lang, R-West Chester township, for the nomination.

Following the shooting, Gov. Mike DeWine laid out an 18-point plan to curtail gun violence.

Staff Writer

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and Ohio for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.