Ohio House Considers New Tactics To Break Speaker Impasse

Dec 21, 2018

State lawmakers are coming back to work after Christmas to consider overriding at least one veto – if not more – from Gov. John Kasich. At the same time, Republicans are being pushed to hold a long-awaited vote for Speaker to lead the House next year.

One member is suggesting a sudden move to break the impasse.

State Rep. Jim Hoops (R-Napoleon) wrote in a memo to the House Republican caucus that he’s asked twice for a speakership vote from caucus dean Jim Butler (R-Kettering), the member who would convene a vote.

Hoops supports current Speaker Ryan Smith, while Butler backs former Speaker Larry Householder, who’s hoping to unseat Smith. Hoops says he’s formally requesting the caucus vote for a new dean and then hold the speakership vote next week. 

“It is time for us to restore order to what should be an honorable and dignified process,” Hoops wrote in his memo.

Neither Smith nor Householder appears to have the 50 votes needed to win outright, though Smith appears to have the support of the majority of the Republican caucus. The stalemate may seen familiar: The Ohio House spent two months without a speaker after the sudden resignation of Cliff Rosenberger.

When the vote finally happened, it took 11 rounds and a rule change in order for Smith to finally win over Householder. Democrats, meanwhile, supported neither candidate and instead rallied around House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn.

This time around, Democrats have been getting calls from unions to support Householder.