Householder Arrest Ignites Search For Next House Speaker

Jul 27, 2020

Republican lawmakers say they're working on how to move forward given the arrest of House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford), who now faces federal racketeering charges. This could set up a new fight to become the next speaker.

If Householder were to resign or be removed, his second-in-command Rep. Jim Butler (R-Oakwood) could be in line to succeed him.

However the majority of Republican House members did not vote for Householder as speaker in January 2019. Instead it took a deal Householder made with the majority of House Democrats to give him a win over former-House Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell).

Given the federal charges against Householder, accusing him of leading a bribery scheme in return for passing the nuclear power plant bailout, Rep. Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) is calling for a complete leadership shake-up.

Rep. Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Township), in his second term, says he's been approached by members to consider a possible bid for speaker. Others have suggested Rep. Bob Cupp (R-Lima), a former Ohio Supreme Court Justice in his third term.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says he's prepared to call a special session of the General Assembly to hold a vote to remove Householder if it comes to that, but he would rather the House members call for the vote on their own.