Todd DeFeo | The Center Square
The state House has elected state Rep. Bob Cupp, R-Lima, as Speaker of the House.
The move came just hours after lawmakers voted to remove House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, from his post and the same day the feds announced a grand jury indicted Householder and four others as part of a $60 million federal racketeering conspiracy to pass and uphold House Bill 6, a ratepayer-funded bailout of nuclear plants in Ohio.
State Representative Brian Baldridge voted to remove Larry Householder from the Speakership. “This morning, I cast a vote to remove Larry Householder as Speaker of the House of Representatives,” said Baldridge. This was a unanimous and bipartisan vote. The actions of the House today begin the healing process to restore the public’s trust of this great institution.”
Baldridge continued, “While I’m disappointed in the actions that have lead us to this point, I am hopeful that later this afternoon we will be filling the vacancy created. There are important issues to solve and problems that we face as a state and southern Ohio. I will continue each day to do the work that the people sent me here to do and represent the fine people of the 90th District.”
According to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, the “enterprise conspired to violate the racketeering statute through honest services wire fraud, receipt of millions of dollars in bribes and money laundering.”
Lawmakers and DeWine have called for the repeal of HB 6. Meanwhile, federal authorities say their investigation continues.
“I congratulate Bob Cupp upon his election as the new Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives,” Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement. “Speaker Cupp is a man of integrity who will serve Ohio well. I look forward to working with Speaker Cupp and Senate President Obhof in the days ahead.”“Yesterday, the Ohio House of Representatives united with integrity to elect Speaker Bob Cupp as the next Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives. I am proud to support Speaker Cupp as an honest man who will lead the People’s House with knowledge and intelligence of the institution. Speaker Cupp brings proven leadership as a former County Commissioner, State Representative, State Senator, and Ohio Supreme Court Justice. Now is the time to prove to Ohioans that state government leaders work with transparency, and I am looking forward to doing so with Speaker Cupp as the leader of the People’s House,” said Representative Brian Baldridge.
Cupp previously served on the Ohio Supreme Court and has served in the state House since 2015. He was also a state senator from 1985 to 2000 and was state Senate president pro tem from 1997 to 2000.
“Rep. Cupp has served the people of our state honorably in the Ohio House, the Ohio Senate, and as a Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court,” Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said in a statement. “His character is well known and his selection as Speaker is an excellent choice. I am confident he will lead the House with integrity and I look forward to working with him in his new role.”
House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes, D-Akron, was less enthusiastic about the vote, and Democrats derided Republicans for failing to remove Householder from the state House. The entire Democratic Caucus voted against Cupp’s nomination.
“We don’t trust any of them,” Sykes said in a statement.