Ohio Democrats and GOP Senate Leader Say They'll Sit Out the House Speaker Fight

May 17, 2018

Assistant Minority Leader Nick Celebrezze, a Democrat, says his party will vote for one of their own instead of supporting a Republican.
Credit DAN KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Ohio House has cancelled its sessions while the Republican caucus tries to settle on who will replace Speaker Cliff Rosenberger. He resigned in April amid an FBI inquiry into his associations with lobbyists. But House Democrats and the Republican leader of the Ohio Senate say they are not going to step into the fight.

Though the entire House will vote on a speaker, House Pro Tem Kirk Schuring says Democratic votes have historically not been considered in caucus matters. Democratic Assistant Minority Leader Nick Celebrezze says even though a Democrat could not get elected speaker while Republicans dominate the House, they’ll vote for one of their own instead of supporting any Republican.

“At this juncture, I don’t think we could support any Republican until we know what happened, what is going on with the FBI investigation,” he said.

The Ohio Senate held a voting session as scheduled this week. Republican Senate President Larry Obhof says won’t weigh in on other chamber's speaker fight.

“Our intention is to do whatever we were planning to do anyway.”

There’s no word yet on what will happen to legislation that was supposed to be voted on in the House this week but wasn’t. That includes gun and payday lending bills.