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Ohio House Democrats Say They Still Won't Vote for a Republican Speaker Candidate

photo of Dan Ramos
Rep. Dan Ramos says it is not fair for House Republicans to call the Democrats "obstructionists."

After seven weeks without voting sessions, the full Ohio House will vote on Wednesday on a new speaker, and because no candidate had 50 votes among the 65-member Republican caucus, votes from Democrats could be important. But most Democrats are saying they won’t help out any Republican candidate.

Traditionally, the majority’s pick for speaker is voted in unanimously. But several Democrats say they’ll vote for their own Minority Leader Fred Strahorn.

Rep. Dan Ramos says he wants to vote for someone and it’s not a protest, and it’s not fair for Republicans to call Democrats obstructionists.

“They have, frankly, bent the rules of fairness and democracy to make themselves a 2-1 majority in a 50-50 state, and even with that many members, they can’t seem to come up with 50 votes. That’s dysfunction within their own caucus and there’s no other way to put that,” he said.

Democrat Bernadine Kennedy Kent has said she’ll vote for Republican Ryan Smith, who led Andy Thompson in the last caucus vote. Smith has said Thompson is a proxy for Larry Householder, who is Smith’s competition in next year’s speaker’s race.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.