GOP Senators Regroup After the Cliff Hite Scandal and Resignation

Nov 28, 2017

R-Cliff Hite.
Credit ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Editor's note:  Last night, a panel of Republican senators voted to recommend Rep. Robert McColley to fill Hite's empty Senate seat. The full Senate Republican Caucus must now hold a vote to make McColley's selection to serve the remaining 13 months of Hite's term official.  

Republicans in the Ohio Senate are regrouping after allegations of sexual harassment forced a high-ranking member to resign. 

Republican Cliff Hite of Findlay was chair of the agriculture committee and a leading voice for the wind-energy industry. He resigned after a state employee accused him of persistently propositioning her for sex and harassing her.

The Republican caucus plans on having meetings this week to pick up the pieces. That includes possibly picking Hite’s replacement, assigning a new committee chair and finding out if there’s still support for Hite’s bills.

One of his more prominent bills would decrease wind setbacks, which is the minimum distance a wind turbine must be from property lines.

A spokesperson for the Senate Republican Caucus says this issue will be discussed along with other energy policies that they’d like to take on at the beginning of next year.