SIDNEY — The Shelby County Republican Central Committee is seeking censure on the 22 Republians who voted with Democrats during the election for the Ohio House of Representatives speaker.
In a letter sent to fellow Ohio Republicans, Dan Cecil, chairman, Shelby County Republican Party, wrote, “The Shelby County Republican Central Committee voted last (Wednesday) night to censure the 22 Republicans who chose to vote with 32 Democrats to elect Jason Stephens as the Speaker of the House on January 3rd, 2023. None of those 22 Republican representatives are from Shelby County, so some are asking what right we have to do this and what good it will do?
“Like many other conservative counties, we were celebrating in November when Derek Merrin was elected the next Speaker of the House because it signaled a very specific, conservative trajectory for the Ohio House that we had worked long and hard for.
“When 22 Republicans sided with 32 Democrats to elect a different speaker, they were knowingly and intentionally altering that trajectory. House Minority Leader (Democrat) Allison Russo made it clear in recent interviews that she had her block join with 22 Republicans and vote for Jason Stephens because having him as Speaker of the House was better for her Democrat constituents than having Derek Merrin as Speaker of the House. It was a shrewd political move on her part to gain an advantage for her liberal wish lists. A fairly good rule of thumb is that if it is better for liberal Democrats, then it is probably worse for conservative Republicans.
“The actions of these 22 Republicans did not impact just the constituents within their districts. Their actions impacted every conservative voter across the state of Ohio. They intentionally shifted the trajectory of the Ohio House in a direction more favorable to liberal Democrats and less favorable to conservative Republicans. Why else would Democrats cast votes for a Republican? The Democrats are certainly happy, but conservative voters across the state are not!
“Because their actions impact every conservative voter in Ohio, we have a right, and I would argue we have a responsibility, to hold them accountable for what they did. We did our first small part last night by formally censuring the 22 Republicans who worked with the Democrats to shift the trajectory of the Ohio House to the left for the next two years.
“The second question I’m hearing is what good will it do? That certainly remains to be seen. But the fight for right didn’t end at the election of Jason Stephens on January 3rd. The 45 Republicans who honored their caucus commitment to vote for Derek Merrin on January 3rd will be working hard to salvage as many conservative causes as they can. Every county that censures the 22 will encourage, empower, and embolden them in their work, even as it is sending a loud signal to the 22 that they made a huge mistake in siding with the Democrats instead of honoring their commitments to their fellow Republicans.
“I encourage each of you to seriously consider censuring these 22 Republicans as well.” Cecil concluded.
According to an Associated Press story, Merrin invited more than 40 fellow House Republicans who supported him to meet privately Wednesday to discuss seeking changes to House rules to lessen the speaker’s power and ensure that they are heard. The agenda also included discussion about advancing legislation that would make it harder for citizens to amend Ohio’s constitution, which they don’t believe would be a priority for Stephens.