Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens removes six Republicans from committees they chaired – Mercer County Outlook

(24-5-2-) The political wars in Ohio are heating up, not between the two parties, but between two Republicans.

Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) is running unopposed for the House of Representatives and is expected to challenge current House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) for the position from speaker in January. Stephens is also unopposed.

Huffman donated to the primary campaigns of some Republicans running against Stephens’ allies.

It all started yesterday…Stephens removed six Republicans from the committees they chaired.

The six all voted for Rep. Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Twp.) as speaker in January 2023 and donated to the primary campaigns of incumbent Republicans, some of whom supported Stephens for speaker.

Stephens was elected with votes of 22 Republicans and all 32 Democrats. Merrin had the votes of 43 Republicans.

In a memo to House members Wednesday, Stephens announced:

  • Representative Rodney Creech (R-West Alexandria) was removed as chairman and member of the House Agriculture Committee;
  • Representative Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) was removed as chairman and member of the House Constitutional Resolutions Committee;
  • Representative Darrell Kick (R-Loudonville) was ousted as chairman and member of the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee;
  • Representative Adam Bird (R-New Richmond) was ousted as chairman and member of the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee;
  • Representative Scott Lipps (R-Franklin) was removed as chairman and member of the House Public Health Policy Committee; And
  • Representative Marilyn John (R-Richland County) was ousted as chairman and member of the House State and Local Government Committee.

The memo adds:

“The chairman and first named member of each committee mentioned above shall remain vacant until further action is taken by the chairman. These changes are effective immediately.”

“I was a big supporter of the Republicans in the caucus. We did not run against the incumbents as we said we would not do,” Stephens told reporters. “However, there were several Republicans who felt their contributions should be spent on our sitting members.”

Campaign finance data shows that more than $1 million was spent through the Ohio House Republican Alliance (OHRA) account in the final days of the March primary. Stephens spent about half of that on the campaigns of incumbent Republicans who supported him as speaker.

But four of his supporters lost their primaries: Reps. Sara Carruthers (R-Hamilton), Rep. Jon Cross (R-Findlay), Brett Hillyer (R-Urichsville) and Gail Pavliga (R-Atwater).

Stevens’ spokesman said in a text about the removal of members from committees:

“The Speaker has worked to unite the caucus and they have done exactly what they accused him of doing.”

A lawsuit over control of the OHRA campaign account, filed by Merrin, Plummer and Rep. Ron Ferguson (R-Wintersville), will go to trial on Oct. 21 in Franklin County Common Pleas Court. A request to stop Stephens from spending money from that account was denied in February.

Sounds familiar?

There could be a floor vote to impeach House Speaker Mike Johnson (R)…

House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark and Democratic Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar said this in a statement Tuesday after their Democratic caucus meeting at the House of Representatives.

“We will vote to table Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s motion to resign from the chair. If she calls the motion, it will not pass.”

Despite the Republicans having the majority in these two houses, the Democrats have controlled the situation.