Larry Householder

Photo of Ryan Smith
OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

After two months of fighting, mostly by majority Republicans behind closed doors, the Ohio House has a new speaker. It was an unusual floor vote because the majority couldn’t agree on a nominee. But the vote ends an impasse that stopped voting sessions in mid-April when former speaker Cliff Rosenberger resigned amid an FBI inquiry.

House Clerk Brad Young sounded more like an auctioneer as he took vote after vote after vote.

Photo of Ryan Smith
DAN KONIK / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

After two months of impasse, the Ohio House has a new leader.

In an unprecedented process, Republican Finance Chair Ryan Smith was elected speaker after 11 rounds of voting on the House floor. Under Ohio law, a candidate must have a majority of the 99 House members to win -- until the 11th round. Smith ended up with 44 votes.

“I wasn’t sure if we’d go through 11 rounds of voting to get the plurality, but I knew if we did, I’d get there.”

photo of Dan Ramos
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

After seven weeks without voting sessions, the full Ohio House will vote on Wednesday on a new speaker, and because no candidate had 50 votes among the 65-member Republican caucus, votes from Democrats could be important. But most Democrats are saying they won’t help out any Republican candidate.

Traditionally, the majority’s pick for speaker is voted in unanimously. But several Democrats say they’ll vote for their own Minority Leader Fred Strahorn.

Kirk Schuring and Ryan Smith
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

There may be an end in sight when it comes to the House speaker impasse that’s caused dysfunction at the Statehouse. A plan has been proposed that could result in either a new speaker or an interim leader who would act as a stand-in for the rest of the year, though some Republicans oppose the idea, and many Democrats say they won’t participate in it.

What could that mean for one of the biggest issues on Capitol Square; payday lending?

photo of KIRK SCHURING
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The fight over who will be the speaker of the Ohio House through the end of this year continues to take strange turns as members try to find a replacement for former House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger. He resigned in April amid an FBI investigation into his activities.

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