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Lawmaker who lost bid for Ohio Speaker calls meeting of supporters

Rep Derek Merrin testifies on the Ohio House floor.
Ohio Legislature
Rep Derek Merrin testifies on the Ohio House floor.

The conservative Republican who lost his bid to become the Speaker of the Ohio House does not appear to be going away quietly, in the latest sign that the party holding a supermajority is fractured.

State Rep. Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township in Lucus County), has invited the 42 Republicans who supported him for speaker for a meeting Wednesday to discuss their next steps.

That follows Merrin losing the vote for speaker to Jason Stephens, who won with 22 Republicans and all 32 Democrats voting for him. Merrin had won an unofficial vote for speaker among Republicans only over Stephens and another Republican in November.

Items to be discussed at the Wednesday meeting include how to push the proposal increasing to 60% the percentage of voter approval for constitutional amendments, which Democrats have opposed. It’s unclear whether Stephens will move it. State lawmakers have to pass it by February 1 to go onto the May ballot.

Also at issue is control over the $3.3 million in the Ohio House Republican Alliance campaign account.