COLUMBUS — State Rep. Rick Carfagna, the fourth-highest ranking Republican in the Ohio House of Representatives, is resigning his office to take a lobbying job with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce later this year.
Carfagna announced his plans to resign on Tuesday, saying he will decide when to step down once his start date with the Ohio Chamber is determined, likely in late February. The Delaware County Republican has been in office since 2017, and would have been eligible to run for re-election for one additional two-year term. His new title will be senior vice-president of government affairs.
Carfagna is joining the Ohio Chamber while the group’s new CEO, former U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers, has looked to increase the chamber’s political footprint in Columbus. Carfagna has as lobbying background, previously working as a lobbyist for Time Warner Cable before he was elected to the state legislature.
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce is one of the state’s biggest business advocacy organizations.
“This role will allow me to focus on the issues I believe matter the most for our economy, including workforce, infrastructure, healthcare, education, energy, and technology among others,” Carfagna said in a letter to constituents that he published to his official Facebook account Tuesday afternoon.
Carfagna represents the 68th House District, which includes eastern Delaware County and Knox County. Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp will be responsible for choosing a replacement, who immediately would have to run for re-election to retain the seat.
However, the district’s future state legislative lines currently are in flux due to an ongoing redistricting lawsuit. A new map approved by Republicans over the weekend combines eastern Delaware County, where Carfagna lives, with part of Morrow County. The new map still requires approval from the Ohio Supreme Court, which struck down the last maps Ohio Republicans passed as unconstitutional, pro-GOP gerrymanders.