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Merrin backers say they're reaching out to Ohio House Democrats

Ohio House Rep. Phil Plummer
Karen Kasler
/
Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau
Ohio House Rep. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) speaks to reporters along with supporters of fellow Rep. Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at the Ohio Statehouse.

The conservative House Republicans who backed Rep. Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township)
for speaker said they’re planning their next move as they wait for House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) to announce the House schedule and committee chairs and members. They say they may be taking a page out of Stephens’ playbook and try to pull in support from minority Democrats.

Since two-thirds of House Republicans voted for Merrin, his supporters want Stephens to guarantee them two-thirds of committee chairs and membership. Rep. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) ran against both Merrin and Stephens for speaker, but is in Merrin’s corner. Plummer said changing the House rules will stop Stephens from pushing through an agenda they oppose – and they’ll ask Democrats to join them.

“We are going to meet with the other side of the aisle and let them be aware of our potential changes, because I'm sure they'll agree with, you know, taken the dictatorship of the speaker's hands and let them do their jobs as well. I'm sure they agree with that.”

But some Merrin supporters have also said they fear Stephens got all 32 Democrats to vote for him by promising to push legislation they support. The Merrin group said it’s prepared to fight for their changes in a lengthy floor session if necessary.