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2018 was a big election year in Ohio. Republicans held onto all five statewide executive offices including governor and super majorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. But there were a few bright spots for Democrats, among them the reelection of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and the election of two Democrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.With election 2018 over, the focus now shifts to governing. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

Still No Vote Scheduled On Ohio House Speaker

photo of Rep. Ryan Smith
Current House Speaker Ryan Smith says Republicans should hold an informal vote now. Democrats voted last week.

The behind the scenes drama goes on over who will be the speaker of the House in the new General Assembly in January, as there appears to be a stalemate over when Republican representatives will vote.

Typically, each caucus holds informal leadership votes before the new session starts. Democrats did last week.

The dean of the Republican caucus, Jim Butler, supports former Speaker Larry Householder to take back that job. But because some candidates he supported didn’t win their elections, it seems unlikely he’d have the votes to take the gavel from Speaker Ryan Smith, who has called for Butler to hold the informal vote now. “It’s a tradition to have it early. It’s kind of getting embarrassing that we’re in this spot but we are where we are,” Smith said.

Smith has said he’s confident he has the votes to continue to be speaker.

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.