Interesting Times at the Ohio Statehouse

Oct 26, 2017Advocacy

Chris Schmenk.
Bricker & Eckler.

While 2018 promises to be a banner year for Ohio politics, activity at the Ohio Statehouse has already started to get interesting. This week, Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) confirmed rumors that he may be exploring a run for Ohio Auditor of State in 2018.

When asked about this possibility by reporters, Speaker Rosenberger said he’s been humbled by phone calls from people encouraging him to run, and that “I’m having very serious conversations with folks across the state. I’m going to continue to have them, and I hope to make a decision really soon,” he said. Representative Keith Faber (R-Celina), who was the former Senate President, has been officially running for the Republican nomination for Auditor of State since January 2017. Speaker Rosenberger’s entrance into the race would create a tough primary for the Republican nomination. Speaker Rosenberger is term limited and currently in his final two-year term in the Ohio House. Some have asked if the Speaker formally decides to enter the race for Auditor of State, whether he will step down as Speaker or continue in that position for the remainder of the 132nd General Assembly? On the Democratic side, former U.S. Rep. Zack Space announced his campaign for the nomination for auditor in August. Other pundits have Speaker Rosenberger running for County Commissioner in his home county of Clinton. The OEDA will continue to keep you advised of these interesting developments.

Additionally, last week, Senator Cliff Hite (R-Findlay), Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, resigned from the Ohio Senate after acknowledging that he engaged in inappropriate conversations and behavior with a state employee. Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) announced that the Senate Republican Caucus will seek to fill the 1st Senate District seat quickly. The 1st Senate District includes all of Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, and Williams counties and parts of Auglaize, Fulton, and Logan counties in Northwest Ohio. Assistant Majority Whip Representative Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) has expressed his interest in the appointment. Representative Craig Riedel (R-Defiance) has also decided to apply for the appointment. The Senate Republicans are accepting applications until 4 p.m. on Monday, November 6, 2017. A Senate panel will then hold in-person meetings with the candidates. We will inform you of the new appointee once the Senate concludes its process.

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