Ohio Republicans line up candidates to replace Householder

Ohio House Republicans are expected to meet Tuesday to talk about removing Larry Householder as speaker and naming a new leader.

State Reps. Phil Plummer and Gary Scherer sent a letter to House Republicans urging them to support state Rep. Bob Cupp for speaker. Cupp spent 16 years in the Ohio Senate and is a former Ohio Supreme Court justice.

State Rep. Rick Carfagna of suburban Columbus said he is also seeking the post.

State Rep. Niraj Antani issued a statement calling for the removal of Householder as speaker and urging his colleagues to support Cupp for speaker.

Former state lawmaker and long-time lobbyist Jeff Jacobson said he is helping GOP lawmakers in the search for a new speaker.

“People ask my advice and I’ve been in situations where unfortunate things happen and you have to deal with them. I think I have some insights,” Jacobson said. “I do this a lot with members (of the Ohio General Assembly.) They come to me. They seek my advice.”

Jacobson served as Montgomery County GOP chairman from 1991 to 2003; state representative 1992 to 2000; and state senator 2001 to 2008. He is a lobbyist who represents beer wholesalers, utilities and payday lenders.

He added: “I’m not running this. This is not a Jeff Jacobson effort. This isn’t anything like that.”

House rules require a simple majority — 50 votes — to remove someone from a legislative leadership post. The Ohio Constitution requires two-thirds majority to expel a member from his or her House seat.

On Tuesday, Householder and his political strategist Jeff Longstreth, former Ohio GOP chairman Matt Borges, and lobbyists Neil Clark and Juan Cespedes appeared in U.S. District Court on racketeering charges.

Cespedes has resigned from the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, Ohio Arts Council and Capital Square Review and Advisory Board.

At least 21 clients have dropped Clark as their lobbyist. Borges lost one of his two lobbying clients.

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