COLUMBUS — Ohio House Republicans have picked Speaker Ryan Smith to continue leading the chamber next session, according to the Associated Press.
The AP reported “Smith won 34 votes in a closed-door caucus meeting Thursday. He’ll need 50 to prevail in a formal vote to be taken Jan. 7, the first day of the new two-year legislative session. Some votes could come from Democrats. Smith prevailed over rival candidate Larry Householder, a Perry County Republican and former House speaker. Some Householder supporters opposed Thursday’s vote on a technicality and boycotted it. The speakership contest has prompted months of tension in the House. The Smith and Householder camps have jockeyed for control since Republican Speaker Cliff Rosenberger resigned in April amid an FBI probe.”
In a statement from the Ohio House of Representatives Majority Communications Department, officials said, “a majority of Ohio House Republican members selected their leadership team for the 133rd General Assembly. Current Speaker of the Ohio House, Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell), was again selected by his legislative peers to serve as Speaker.”
Additionally, State Representative Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Township) will serve as Speaker Pro Tempore, Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) will continue to serve as the Majority Floor Leader, and Rep. Sarah LaTourette (R-Chesterland) will continue to serve as Assistant Majority Floor Leader. The House Republican Whip team will again include Rep. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) as the Majority Whip and Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) as the Assistant Majority Whip.
Speaker Smith released the following statement:
“I’m incredibly proud of the work this caucus has accomplished since I was elected Speaker earlier this year, and I have every confidence that members will continue to work together to make Ohio communities stronger. It is truly humbling to be selected again by my legislative colleagues to serve as Speaker, and it is an honor to lead this caucus going into the 133rd General Assembly. We have a lot of work to do, and I’m ready to hit the ground running on January 7th.”
The official swearing in of new members and leadership positions will occur on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019 during opening day ceremonies in Columbus.
Smith is from Bidwell in Gallia County.
The Associated Press and the Ohio House of Representatives Majority Communications Department contributed to this report.