Republican Derek Merrin Elected as New Speaker for the Ohio House of Representatives

State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township) has been elected as the new Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives for the 135th General Assembly as reported by a release from the Ohio House.

The GOP Caucus selected Merrin, a 36-year-old Realtor and real estate investor as the House Republicans’ pick for speaker over two rivals. State Representative Bill Dean (R-Xenia) organized and led the leadership election. The caucus’ newly elected and returning members participated in the vote.

“I am deeply humbled and honored by the trust and confidence the members have placed in me, and will work each and every day to help them achieve their individual and collective goals,” Merrin said.

As speaker, Merrin will have wide-ranging power over which bills the lower chamber will vote on and which die in committee. State lawmakers will have to pass a massive new two-year state budget plan next year and have a number of controversial issues to tackle, from abortion to taxes.

The current Ohio House Speaker is Bob Cupp, took over after the arrest of Larry Householder on federal bribery charges in the nuclear bailout scandal in 2020.

First elected to the House in 2016, Merrin can serve only two years as speaker before he’s term-limited. He currently chairs the House Ways and Means Committee.

Prior to joining the Ohio House, Merrin served two years on the Waterville City Council. Two years later, he became the Mayor of Waterville at 21 years old, becoming the youngest mayor in Ohio serving from 2008-2011. Merrin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toledo and Masters of Public Administration degree from Bowling Green State University.

Other leadership positions elected by House Republicans include State Representative Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) as Speaker Pro Tempore, State Representative Scott Wiggam (R-Wayne County) as Majority Floor Leader, State Representative Susan Manchester (R-Waynesfield) as Assistant Majority Floor Leader, State Representative Brian Baldridge (R-Winchester) as Majority Whip, and State Representative Brian Stewart (R-Ashville) as Assistant Majority Whip.

“We have a terrific group of new and returning members, from all backgrounds and all walks of life. Working together, we can conquer any challenge and help forge an even brighter future for the great state of Ohio,” Merrin said.

The 135th Ohio General Assembly will convene on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. Republicans will have a 68-31 majority, pending final certification of the November 8 election results.

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Derek Merrin” by Ohio House of Representatives. Background Photo “Ohio State Capitol” by Jim Bowen. CC BY 2.0.


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