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Government & Politics

Ohio House Interim Speaker Considers Changing the Rules, Remaining in Power, Resuming Sessions

photo of Ohio Statehouse
The Ohio House has had no working sessions since April in the absence of a speaker

There is no official action scheduled in the Ohio House today. Over the Memorial Day weekend there was talk, but little change in the saga over who will be the House speaker until the end of the year. The acting speaker says he’s willing to stay on, but the representative with the most votes says no deal.

Speaker Pro Tem Kirk Schuring of Stark County confirms he’s talked to his fellow Republicans about keeping that post but changing House rules so voting sessions can continue.

But Rep. Ryan Smith, a Bidwell Republican, says he wants another speakership vote, and that Schuring’s proposal is "incredibly disrespectful" to the majority of the 65-member caucus who support him for speaker.

Schuring has said he fears Smith still is shy of the 50 votes needed to win a full House vote.

The runner-up in the latest speaker vote was Rep. Andy Thompson of Marietta,, who Smith describes as a proxy of Rep. Larry Householder, the Glenford Republican, who is also interested in running for speaker next year. Smith accuses Household of lacking the “courage” to run for the short-term office now.

Smith said he offered the speaker pro tempore position to Thompson, but he refused it.

Meanwhile, Householder said on Facebook that he and Schuring met without Smith on Friday and, as he put it, quickly “resolved the issue."  A spokesman for Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken says she was asked to help broker a deal, credits Schuring and Householder for working toward a compromise, and that she’s encouraging others to also take what is termed “responsible action."