In a series of fast moving events in late July and early August, former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) was charged and formally indicted for leading a racketeering conspiracy case in which he and four other defendants allegedly received $60M to pass and maintain nuclear bailout legislation HB6 (Callender-Wilkin), a controversial subsidy of FirstEnergy Solutions that passed and was signed into law by Governor DeWine in 2019. Since this came to light, many legislators on both sides of the aisle and DeWine have called for the repeal of the bill as it was passed under unethical circumstances.
Following the indictments, the Ohio House moved swiftly to remove and replace Householder as Speaker in a unanimous floor vote. In a later sufficient but less-than-unanimous vote, Rep. Bob Cupp (R-Lima) was elected as the chamber’s new leader. Cupp grew up working on his family’s farm in Allen County. He is well-liked and respected by his colleagues and others around Capitol Square and is known for sharing his wife’s delicious baked goods. He stated that he never intended to seek a leadership position when he returned to the Legislature, and instead wanted to focus on public policy like school finance reform. He has served as an elected official in all three branches of government and at both the local and state levels: as an Allen County commissioner, a four-term state senator, a court-of-appeals judge, and a justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio. He also served as a city prosecutor and as Chief Legal Counsel to former Ohio Auditor of State, Dave Yost. His years of experience and institutional knowledge will serve the House well during this time.
Speaker Cupp has quickly made changes to House leadership, including:
Removed from the House Rules and Reference Committee:
- Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford)
- Rep. Jim Butler (R-Dayton)
- Rep. Anthony DeVitis (R-Uniontown)
- Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati)
- Rep. Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville)
Newly appointed to the House Rules and Reference Committee:
- Speaker Cupp as Chair
- Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) as Vice Chair
- Rep. Gary Scherer (R-Circleville)
- Rep. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton)
- Rep. Tim Ginter (R-Salem)