(The Center Square) — The state House has elected state Rep. Bob Cupp, R-Lima, as Speaker of the House.
The move came just hours after lawmakers voted to remove House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, from his post and the same day the feds announced a grand jury indicted Householder and four others as part of a $60 million federal racketeering conspiracy to pass and uphold House Bill 6, a ratepayer-funded bailout of nuclear plants in Ohio.
According to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, the “enterprise conspired to violate the racketeering statute through honest services wire fraud, receipt of millions of dollars in bribes and money laundering.”
Lawmakers and DeWine have called for the repeal of HB 6. Meanwhile, federal authorities say their investigation continues.
“I congratulate Bob Cupp upon his election as the new Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives,” Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement. “Speaker Cupp is a man of integrity who will serve Ohio well. I look forward to working with Speaker Cupp and Senate President Obhof in the days ahead.”
Cupp previously served on the Ohio Supreme Court and has served in the state House since 2015. He was also a state senator from 1985 to 2000 and was state Senate president pro tem from 1997 to 2000.
“Rep. Cupp has served the people of our state honorably in the Ohio House, the Ohio Senate, and as a Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court,” Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said in a statement. “His character is well known and his selection as Speaker is an excellent choice. I am confident he will lead the House with integrity and I look forward to working with him in his new role.”
House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes, D-Akron, was less enthusiastic about the vote, and Democrats derided Republicans for failing to remove Householder from the state House. The entire Democratic Caucus voted against Cupp’s nomination.
“We don’t trust any of them,” Sykes said in a statement.
Todd DeFeo is a contributor to The The Center Square