Batchelder Tapped As Speaker-Elect; Huffman, Sears Join Leadership
Current and incoming House Republicans officially tapped House Minority Leader Bill Batchelder as speaker-elect Wednesday morning during a caucus meeting at the Statehouse.
Joining the new majority leadership team for the 129th General Assembly were Rep. Matt Huffman (R-Lima), who was elected majority floor leader, and Rep. Barbara Sears (R-Sylvania), who will serve as assistant majority floor leader.
Rep. Lou Blessing (R-Cincinnati) was elected speaker pro tem, Rep. John Adams (R-Sidney) will serve as majority whip and Rep. Cheryl Grossman (R-GroveCity) as assistant majority whip.
The election of Mr. Batchelder (R-Medina), who is in his second stint in the House after serving on the Ninth Ohio District Court of Appeals from 1999-2005, satisfies a personal goal that has been decades in the making. Term-limited from the House in 1998, the lawmaker stepped down from the bench a few years ago with an eye toward returning to and leading the chamber he had previously served in for 30 years. “I am honored and humbled to be selected by my constituents to return as their state representative and equally honored that my legislative colleagues have entrusted me to lead the House of Representatives,” Rep. Batchelder said in a statement. “The potential this state has is unlimited, and we now have the people involved who are prepared to move ahead and work in the spirit of cooperation to find thorough solutions to the matters facing Ohio.”
Mr. Batchelder’s anointment had been a foregone conclusion since Republicans retook control of the House amidst a national GOP surge in the Nov. 2 elections.
Mr. Huffman catapulted into the third leadership slot from his position as the caucus’ campaign chairman. With results of two races heading for possible recounts, the caucus picked up at least 12 seats to deny Democrats a second consecutive cycle in control of the chamber.
Senate Democrats Retain Cafaro As Minority Leader, Tap Brown As Whip
Senate Democrats voted unanimously Wednesday to keep Senate Minority Leader Capri Cafaro at the helm, the caucus announced.
The new member of caucus leadership for the 129th General Assembly is freshman Senator-elect Edna Brown (D-Toledo). The current House member replaces Minority Whip Ray Miller (D-Columbus), who is term limited this year.
Sen. Cafaro (D-Hubbard) retained her leadership post despite the caucus’ loss of two seats earlier this month in what turned out to be a historic surge for Republicans nationwide. The GOP will hold a 23-10 Senate majority next year, its largest since 1967.
“I am honored that my colleagues have chosen me to serve another term as the leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus,” Senator Cafaro said in a statement. “Our state faces many challenges and I want to make sure all Ohioans have their voices heard in the next General Assembly.”
Senate Republicans are expected to finalize their leadership team later this month.
Amstutz Appointed House Finance Chair; Carey Vice Chair
Speaker-elect William Batchelder (R-Medina) announced Tuesday that Rep. Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster) will be the Finance and Appropriations Committee chairman in the 129th General Assembly. Rep.-elect John Carey (R-Wellston) will serve as vice chairman.
Representative Amstutz has served repeatedly on both House and Senate Finance Committees. Representative Carey has chaired both committees. This cumulative experience should make the House budget process very well informed.
The Senate Republicans and House Democrats are delaying leadership elections until at least the end of November.
Jerry W Collamore
The Collamore Group
37 West Broad Street, Suite 1140
Filed under: Ohio