Ohio House and Senate Informally Select Next Session Leaders

Something must be in the water in Lima, Ohio.  With growing majorities returning into the next legislative session beginning in January of 2021 the Ohio House Republican and Ohio Senate Republican caucus’ made their leadership choices which each chamber selecting an individual from Lima, Ohio to lead their respective caucuses. 

The Ohio Senate Republicans increased their majority with by picking up an additional seat moving their majority from the current 24-9 to 25-8 of the 33-member chamber.  Ohio Senate Republicans selected a four-member leadership team led by veteran legislator State Senator Matt Huffman (R-Lima) who is slated to serve as the chambers next Senate President. Senator Huffman brings a wealth of experience to the role having served in senate leadership as the majority floor leader during the current general assembly and having previously served in the majority leadership of the Ohio House Republican caucus during a previous stint as a state representative prior to being term limited.  

Also joining Senator Huffman in leadership will be a couple of other veteran legislators, State Senator Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) who currently serves as the Majority Whip and State Senator Kirk Schuring (R-Canton). Senator Hottinger will be serving as the President Pro Tempore in the next general assembly, bringing to the role his wealth of knowledge and experience having served his constituents in both the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate. Senator Kirk Schuring will be joining the next leadership team as the Majority Floor Leader. Senator Schuring like Hottinger has served in both the Ohio House and Ohio Senate and previously served as the Speaker Pro Tempore in the Ohio House during the previous general assembly before being elected to the Ohio Senate. Rounding out this strong group of leaders is State Senator Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) who will be serving in leadership for the first time during his legislative service.

Similarly, the Ohio House Republicans this week finalized their picks for leadership with the selection of Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) to continue on as the chamber’s leader into the next general assembly. Speaker Cupp took over the role as speaker this summer after former Speaker Larry Householder was arrested and charged with a federal felony count for racketeering along with 4 others. Speaker Cupp took over the duties as Speaker during this time and expanded the Republican caucus’ majority in the process.  Speaker Cupp is likely the most experienced Speaker of a state legislature in the nation serving as County Commissioner, Ohio State Senator, State Court of Appeals Judge, Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, and now member of the Ohio House of Representatives.  

Speaker Cupp is joined in leadership by Representative Tim Ginter (R-Salem) as speaker pro tempore, veteran Representative Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) which will retain his current leadership role of majority floor leader, Representative Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Twp.) as Assistant majority floor leader, Representative Don Jones (R-Freeport) as majority whip, and Representative Cindy Abrams (R-Harrison) as the Assistant majority whip.  The house leadership team brings two freshman representatives into the leadership team for the 134th General Assembly, with Rep. Don Jones and Rep. Cindy Abrams having joined the chamber during the current 133rd General Assembly.