Frank Cremeans (April 5, 1943-January 2, 2003) was an Ohio small-businessman who represented Ohio in the United States House of Representatives as a Republican. He served one term in Congress, from 1995 to 1997.
He was born in Cheshire, Ohio. After graduating from Kyger Creek Local, Gallipolis, Ohio he took his B.A. at the University of Rio Grande, Rio Grande, Ohio, in 1965 and his M.A. at Ohio University in 1969 Cremeans, the self-made millionaire owner of a concrete company in Gallipolis, was elected in the Republican landslide in 1994, narrowly defeating one-term incumbent Ted Strickland in Ohio's sixth congressional district.
In the race, Cremeans took advantage of Strickland's statement that taxes might have to be raised to support health care reform. His statements about homosexuals reflected his allegiance with the religious right wing of the Republican party. He said in a campaign speech, "The Greeks and the Romans were homosexuals. Their civilization did not stand. Did they come into contact with a social disease like AIDS? I don't know the answer."
On the first day of the first session of the 104th Congress Cremeans was featured as part of Republican efforts to reform the rules of the House. He was one of several congressmen tricked into saying stupid things by Spy Magazine writers posing as reporters for a young Republican magazine; Cremeans made disparaging remarks about the appearance of Hillary Clinton.
During his tenure in the House of Representatives, Cremeans, a right-wing conservative, called for demonstrations to support the display of a Christian cross at a small-town courthouse. Cremeans, whose parents were lifelong Democrats, received tepid support from his family. In an article printed in Ohio University's The Post, Cremeans's brother Fred Cremeans, the school's bursar, when asked what he thought of his brother's service in the House of Representatives, replied, "Probably what everyone else does."
Strickland challenged Cremeans in 1996 to regain the seat. Cremeans made bizarre charges in the campaign that Strickland had burglarized his offices and was spying on him while Strickland showed up at Cremeans rallies with a videocamera that sometimes had no tape in it. Cremeans lost thanks to strong Democratic turnout in southeastern Ohio, particularly in Athens County and subsequently returned to Gallipolis and his concrete business.
In 1998, Cremeans sought to retake his seat from Strickland, but he was defeated in the nasty, three-way Republican primary by Lieutenant Governor Nancy Hollister. Hollister received the support of almost all the Republican establishment in the primary, including Senator Mike DeWine and Congressman John Boehner. Although Cremeans's views on many of the issues, such as abortion were closer to those of the Republican base in Ohio, they viewed Cremeans's eccentric public personality as a detriment to his effectiveness.
In March 2000 he challenged DeWine in the Republican primary, but lost.
He died in Gallipolis in 2003.
This article incorporates facts obtained from the public domain Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
Election Results, U.S. Representative from Ohio, 6th District List of United States Representatives from Ohio