House speaker race starts again for Republicans after ousting Jordan
The race to replace outgoing Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder is underway once again, after Republicans officially ousted the embattled leader in the wake of his arrest on corruption charges earlier this week.
Rep. Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and Rep. Jim Butler (R-Oakwood) are among the names that have emerged as contenders to replace Householder, who is accused of leading a $60 million bribery scheme involving the state’s nuclear bailout.
On Thursday, House Republicans voted unanimously to declare Householder “incapacitated,” allowing the chamber to start the process of choosing a new speaker.
The way forward is not yet clear, since Householder’s removal by the legislature was invalidated by a court ruling. However, House GOP leaders are expected to craft a new resolution that would oust Householder and potentially name his successor.
Debate over the new speaker is likely to be heated, as House Republicans struggle with a divided caucus in the aftermath of Householder’s arrest.
Cupp, the current Speaker Pro Tem, was widely seen as Householder’s heir apparent and is likely to be a front-runner for the job. Butler, meanwhile, has previously served as Speaker before, and could be a viable alternative. Other potential contenders include Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), Rep. Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton), and Rep. Brian Baldridge (R-Bellefontaine).
No matter who emerges as the new speaker, it is certain that the coming weeks and months of the Ohio House will be filled with drama and uncertainty as the chamber grapples with Householder’s ouster and the fallout from his arrest.