AG Says House Needs Law To Remove Speaker, Not Just Majority Vote

Jul 29, 2020

With a vote set to remove House Speaker Larry Householder tomorrow morning and just two candidates in the race to replace him, there’s apparently a disagreement among Republicans on how that can happen.

Late Wednesday, three of the Republican representatives who had said they would like to succeed Householder - Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Township), Craig Riedel (R-Defiance) and Tim Ginter (R-Salem) - announced they were dropping their bids and throwing their support behind Bob Cupp (R-Lima). That leaves just Cupp and Jim Butler (R-Oakwood), the speaker pro tem.

House Republicans say their rules indicate a simple majority of 50 votes can remove Householder as speaker, though the motion to remove Householder will be one that all members can speak to and vote on.

But in a memo obtained by the Statehouse News Bureau, Attorney General Dave Yost said while the federal allegations against Householder have him – using his word – 'aghast', he says the constitution requires a speaker’s removal with a law the House and Senate must pass and the governor must sign.

And Yost said it’s unclear whether the House can be called into session unless the speaker does it, which he tweeted about a few days ago.  Yost said Gov. Mike DeWine has the authority to do that, which he has said he will do if necessary.

Yost and DeWine both called on Householder to resign soon after his arrest.