Editorial: Householder makes power grab in Ohio House

The Columbus Dispatch

New Speaker Larry Householder had the first laugh, but we hope he doesn’t also get the last laugh over his Democrat-driven selection last week to the most powerful position in the Ohio House of Representatives.

House members made history on the first day of the 133rd session of the Ohio General Assembly when an even number of Democrats and Republicans — 26 from each caucus — returned the Glenford Republican to the post he had left under a cloud in 2004.

A master political strategist, Householder could obviously tell well before last Monday’s showdown that he would need Democratic votes to defeat Smith, who had been speaker since June. Householder’s pathway to those votes came via support from organized labor.

And it was the labor support that helped win over many in the Democratic caucus to tie their political futures to Householder, as central Ohio Democratic Reps. David Leland and Kristin Boggs later explained to the Dispatch editorial board.

The real test, though, will be how much, if any, of their legislative agenda Democrats are able to get passed. The Dispatch, too, would like to see the House pass stricter gun laws and forgo further abortion restrictions, but we’re not as hopeful as the 26 Democrats who gave Householder the gavel.

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The Columbus Dispatch

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