Ohio House Has Another Leadership Fight Brewing
As Ohio lawmakers prepare for the next General Assembly to begin in January, House leadership is still up in the air. Just like the last showdown, there are two candidates who still both want to be Speaker.
Current Speaker Ryan Smith is calling for Republicans to take an informal vote for the next leader now. Smith was named to the position in June after defeating former Speaker Larry Householder in 11 rounds of voting.
Householder was hoping candidates he backed would elect him for the new General Assembly, but many of his picks lost in November.
As caucus dean, it’s up to State Rep. Jim Butler to call for the speaker vote. Butler, who supports Householder, didn’t agree to talk but in written statements says he doesn’t think either candidate has a majority.
Butler wants both Smith and Householder talk it out with him to “determine a unified path forward.” But in a statement, Smith says that Butler’s tactics are preventing the caucus from coming together.
Smith agrees caucus affairs should stay private, and that’s why he says he “will not take part in any sort of private, back-room negotiation.”