An area state representative will not be Ohio House Speaker afterall. It appeared Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Twp.), would be the next speaker following a vote among Republicans.
However, State Representative Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) was elected Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives during the opening day ceremonies for the 135th General Assembly on Tuesday, Jan. 3. A group of Republicans joined with Democrats to vote Stephens as Speaker of the Ohio House.
Merrin represents parts of western Lucas County, including the Swanton area.
Stephens addressed the chamber after he was elected and took hold of the Speaker’s gavel.
“I pledge to respect and to work with each and every one of you to address the many concerns of our state…to recognize both challenges and opportunities, to develop real solutions, and to improve the lives of the people of Ohio,” Stephens said. “I pledge to always have an open door and listen. I encourage all to do the same.”
Additionally, the Ohio House swore in State Representative Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton) as the Speaker Pro Tempore.
As a result of the November election, the Republican Caucus has increased their majority by three seats for the 2023-24 legislative session as Tuesday’s organizational session of the Ohio House marked the beginning of the 135th General Assembly.