LIMA — It’s been a busy year in the Ohio State House. Between redistricting, approving a massive state budget and spending countless hours debating renewable energy, there has been no shortage of things to talk about. With all of the work that has already been done in 2021, State Representative Craig Riedel is ready to keep that momentum going through the rest of the year.
The congressman represents Ohio’s 82nd District, covering Defiance, Paulding and Van Wert counties, along with part of Auglaize County. On Friday, he spoke to the Allen County Republican Party to talk about what has been accomplished in 2021, legislation that is coming down the pipeline and his friendship with House Speaker Bob Cupp and Senate President Matt Huffman.
Riedel has attached his name to a variety of legislation that would push Ohio further to the right, including proposals like House Bill 327, which would effectively ban the teaching of critical race theory in schools, and House Bill 248, which would keep schools and employers from requiring COVID vaccinations for students and workers. Riedel also introduced a bill that would use part of Ohio’s American Rescue Plan money to provide $1,000 one-time bonuses to state law enforcement and first responders as thanks for their work during the pandemic.
Representing northwest Ohio has been a nice advantage for Riedel, giving him a chance to build strong relationships with Ohio’s chamber leaders.
“Because of the relationship that I’ve been able to form with (Cupp and Huffman), I mean a true genuine friendship, it allows me to maybe have some more influence with them in our conversations,” Riedel said. “It helps also, if I need help with something, if it’s a piece of legislation, whatever it might be, I know that I can talk with Bob and with Matt and they’re going to help me.”
Riedel also said that the GOP has continued to grow stronger in Ohio over the years, not leaving too much cause for concern over how district lines could be drawn for 2022.
“I would hope and expect that the new districts will benefit the Republican Party in the sense that there’s no doubt that Ohio is a Republican state. It’s gravitated further and further to the right in the last 10 to 15 years,” he said. “So I think it’s absolutely proper that the Republicans have more seats in the Ohio General Assembly and in Washington, D.C. based on that.”
Riedel and the rest of the Ohio House of Representatives will return to session on September 14.
Reach Trevor Hubert at 567-242-0398