Ohio elected a “moderate” Republican president with Democratic support


The Ohio House elected a “moderate” Republican with the help of Democrats in the Republican caucus’ first primary choice on Tuesday.

Ohio State Rep. Jason Stevens (R) won the state House presidency 54-43 over State Rep. Derek Merrin (R), who was considered the president-elect after winning an informal caucus vote three months ago. Stevens won the support of all 32 state Democrats and 22 other Republicans, while Merrin received just 43 votes, all of which came from Republicans.

According to Cleveland.com, in recent days, Stevens and his allies have been gaining Democratic support to push him to the presidency. Without Democratic support, Stevens’ presidential bid against Merrin would have split the vote, and neither candidate would have received the necessary majority.

After the vote to elect Stevens on Tuesday, he told the state House, “I am committed to respecting and working with each of us to solve the many problems facing our state.”

Jeremy Pelzer of Cleveland.com explained:

Merrin is expected to move the House further to the right than the GOP-dominated chamber in recent years, which has backed the “anti-union right” on measures that have yet to pass that day, including a total abortion ban. -jobs,” Ohio’s income tax phaseout and the “backpack bill” that would expand school vouchers. Although Stevens is conservative, he is not considered as right-wing as Merrin.

This is the second time in four years that a Republican has been elected speaker of the Ohio House by a Democratic vote. In 2019, Democrats gave Larry House the necessary votes to unseat then-President Ryan Smith, but they faced criticism the following year after the house owner was arrested and charged with overseeing a $60 million corruption scheme.

As president, Stevens will have broad authority over which bills pass the lower house and die in committee. State lawmakers will have to pass a new two-year budget plan this year and tackle a range of contentious issues from abortion to taxes.

House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D) told reporters that state House Democrats had decided just two hours before the vote that they would support Stevens, effectively leading him to victory. He added that now there is “no big deal” with the speaker for their support.

Still, he said, “there’s been a lot of talk about compromises on the issues” and noted that the two Republicans vying for the top seat have reached out to Democrats for support. According to reports, Merrin won the support of his conference only after a third candidate came forward for a closed-door caucus vote and voted against Stevens.

Representative Kevin McCarthy listens to the House of Representatives for the 118th Congress on January 3, 2023 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. (AFP)

A situation similar to what happened in Ohio was proposed to elect a “unity speaker” to the United States House of Representatives after the Republican House majority failed to vote. on Tuesday and part of Wednesday failed to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), the new House Minority nominee Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), said Wednesday that Democrats are willing to work with Republicans to elect a president. “We would look at it, but I haven’t seen any evidence that Republicans are willing to act,” he said.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) failed to secure a majority after a minority of Republicans consistently voted for his choice, giving him the majority he needed.

With the top seat in the U.S. House still vacant, members cannot be sworn in to formally begin the 118th Congress, which includes investigations to hold the Joe Biden administration accountable.

Jacob Bliss Correspondent for Breitbart News. Write to him jbliss@breitbart.com or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.

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