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Speaker loses control of Ohio House Republicans' campaign account till at least October

Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) speaks to reporters about his team's list of priority bills. Standing with him were 15 House Republicans who voted for him for speaker.
Karen Kasler
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) speaks to reporters about his team's list of priority bills. Standing with him were 15 House Republicans who voted for him for speaker.

The speaker of the Ohio House has lost control over the House Republicans’ campaign fund till a trial in October, at the order of a Franklin County judge.

It’s the latest in the ongoing battle among Republicans over leadership in the House. And it's a change from an earlier ruling on that campaign account.

The ruling from Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Serrott comes after a Friday hearing with attorneys for Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) and the three Republicans who say Stephens shouldn’t control the Ohio House Republican Alliance account because he doesn’t have the support of most House Republicans.

Last year, 22 Republicans and all 32 Democrats voted Stephens in as speaker; 43 Republicans voted for Derek Merrin (R-Napoleon), one of the three who filed the lawsuit.

The order puts another of those three, Phil Plummer (R-Dayton), in charge of the OHRA account. In April, the Ohio House Republican caucus also voted to put the account in Plummer's control.

An earlier order allowed Stephens to control the account for the May primary, but four Stephens supporters still lost their races.

A trial is set for Oct. 21, only two weeks before the fall election. It was reported in court the OHRA account may contain as little as $50,000.

Copyright 2024 The Statehouse News Bureau