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Derek Merrin elected as new Ohio House Speaker

Derek Merrin
Ohio House
Rep Derek Merrin testifies on the Ohio House floor.

State Rep. Derek Merrin has been elected as the new Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives.

Merrin (R Monclova Township in Lucas County), 35, will lead the house for the 135th General Assembly which starts in January.

“I am deeply humbled and honored by the trust and confidence the members have placed in me, and will work each and every day to help them achieve their individual and collective goals. We have a terrific group of new and returning members, from all backgrounds and all walks of life. Working together, we can conquer any challenge and help forge an even brighter future for the great state of Ohio,” Merren said.

The current Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp, who took over after the arrest of Larry Household on federal bribery charges in the nuclear bailout scandal in July 2020, is term-limited.

Merrin, who has served in the Ohio House since August 2016, currently chairs the ways and means committee.

Prior to joining the Ohio House, Merrin sat on the Waterville City Council. He was later elected Waterville mayor at 21 years old, becoming the youngest mayor in Ohio. He served in that role from 2008 to 2011.

Merrin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toledo and a Master of Public Administration degree from Bowling Green State University.

Other leadership positions elected by House Republicans include:

  • State Representative Phil Plummer (R-Dayton), Speaker Pro Tempore
  • State Representative Scott Wiggam (R-Wayne County), Majority Floor Leader
  • State Representative Susan Manchester (R-Waynesfield), Assistant Majority Floor Leader
  • State Representative Brian Baldridge (R-Winchester), Majority Whip
  • State Representative Brian Stewart (R-Ashville), Asst. Majority Whip

Following the current lame duck session, the Ohio General Assembly is scheduled to convene on January 3.

Republicans will have a 68-31 majority in the Ohio House, pending final certification of the midterm election results.

Jared Clayton Brown joined the WOSU News team in November 2022. He spent seven years working for the Fox and NBC affiliate stations in Louisville and three years with the CBS affiliate station in Columbus.