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Ohio House Majority Leadership Update

Updated Provided by The Fitzgibbon Group

On November 16th, Ohio House Republican Caucus members for the 135th General Assembly, who will be sworn-in in January, met to select the next Speaker of the House and the majority caucus leadership team.  The current Speaker, Bob Cupp (R-Lima), is term-limited after this year so a new Speaker is needed to lead the House in January.

Entering the meeting, three individuals expressed interest in being elected Speaker, Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township, Lucas County), Representative Phil Plummer (R-Dayton), and Representative Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill, Lawrence County).  Following a 90-minute closed door caucus meeting, Rep. Merrin was selected to be the Republican’s choice for Speaker.

Rep. Merrin is entering his last term in the House before he is required to leave due to term limits so he will be Speaker for the upcoming General Assembly and then a new Speaker will need to be selected in two years.  Rep. Merrin is the current Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee which focuses on legislation dealing with tax issues.   He holds a BA from the University of Toledo and Master of Public Administration degree from Bowling Green State University.  Before joining the General Assembly, Rep. Merrin served two years on Waterville City Council. Two years later, he was elected mayor of Waterville at 21 years old, becoming the youngest mayor in Ohio serving from 2008-2011.

Following the caucus meeting Rep. Merrin announced the following members of his leadership team:

  • Rep. Plummer was elected to serve as Speaker Pro Tempore, the number-two leadership spot in the House
  • Rep. Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster) will serve in the #3 spot, the Majority Floor Leader
  • Rep. Susan Manchester (R-Auglaize County) will be the Assistant Majority Floor Leader
  • Rep. Brian Baldridge (R-Adams County) will be the Majority Whip
  • Rep. Brian Stewart (R-Pickaway County) will serve as Assistant Majority Whip

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