Householder Loses Informal Vote for House Speaker

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Ohio House Republicans have picked Speaker Ryan Smith to continue leading the chamber next session, in a vote questioned by backers of his main rival.

Smith won 34 votes in a closed-door caucus meeting Thursday. He’ll need 50 to prevail in a formal vote to be taken Jan. 7, the first day of the new two-year legislative session. Some votes could come from Democrats.

Smith prevailed over rival candidate Larry Householder, a Perry County Republican and former House speaker.

Some Householder supporters opposed Thursday’s vote on a technicality and boycotted it.

The speakership contest has prompted months of tension in the House. The Smith and Householder camps have jockeyed for control since Republican Speaker Cliff Rosenberger resigned in April amid an FBI probe.

Smith is from Bidwell, in southeastern Ohio.