COLUMBUS – Lake area State Representative Larry Household (R-Glenford) won a months-long battle Monday to become the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives. He bested holdover Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) by a close 52-46 vote. Bidwell was elected Speaker last May after former Speaker Cliff Rosenberger resigned in March during a FBI investigation into his overseas travel.
Householder previously served as Speaker from 2001-04. He returned to the state legislature two years ago and could serve three two-year terms as Speaker before he would have to step down due to term limits. He is expected to revisit school funding which was a focus during his first tenure as Speaker.
While Republicans hold a 61-38 majority in the Ohio House, Smith won the Republican vote with 34 to 26 for Householder. Householder actively sought Democrats’ votes, with support from some major Ohio labor unions. Twenty-six Democrats voted for Householder compared to 12 for Smith, accounting for his victory.
Householder also announced some changes, some worked out with Democrats, after his victory Monday. He wants to consider a professional human resources manager to address employment issues in the House. Householder wants to require legislative committees to vote amendments up or down, rather than just tabling them. He also wants to allow amendments on the House floor without requiring prior notice. Both changes would allow more input by the minority party.
Locally, Householder is best know for his booming voice and one of his television commercials last fall that portrayed a camouflaged Householder blasting a television set with a shotgun. His district includes the lake area portion of Licking County and all of Coshocton and Perry counties.