As you may have heard by now, Ohio elected Rep. Ryan Smith, the Chair of the Ohio House Finance Committee, as Speaker of the Ohio House in dramatic fashion yesterday. The post was vacant after Speaker Cliff Rosenberger resigned amid an FBI investigation.
The rules require that the majority of the members present vote to elect the Speaker. Rep. Smith would have needed 46 votes because of the absence of some members on the House Floor. He was able to secure 44 votes. There was a small faction of Republicans that support Larry Householder (R-Glenford) for Speaker in 2019 who voted for other candidates; and almost the entire minority caucus voted for their minority leader, Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). Four of the members absent, if present, were Smith supporters and would have provided the votes necessary for him to reach support of the majority of the members present.
Because Rep. Smith could not gain the support of the majority of the members present, a law exists in the Ohio Revised Code that allows a speaker to be elected by a plurality of votes, but only after ten votes are taken.
So…. 2 ½ hours later, after an individual voice vote for all 91 members present voted TEN times each, on the eleventh vote, Speaker Smith was formally elected and sworn in as Ohio’s newest Speaker of the Ohio House.
Ohio Revised Code
101.21 Majority required to tenth voting.
A majority of the votes given at an election for an officer of either house shall be necessary to elect. If a choice is not made on or before the tenth voting, the person thereafter receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected.