Householder remains on the 2020 ballot past key deadline

    Rep. Larry Householder, R-Glenford.

    Former Speaker of the Ohio House Larry Householder remains on the ballot to be reelected as a state representative this November, the Licking County Board of Elections director has confirmed.

    Rep. Householder, R-Glenford, is the only name that will appear on the House 72nd District ballot. No Democrat filed to challenge him for the seat, which covers Licking, Coshocton and Perry counties east of Columbus.

    Monday was an important deadline on the elections calendar. That was the last day a political party could name a replacement should a candidate withdraw or be otherwise ineligible to run for office.

    Householder, who was arrested July 21 as part of a federal bribery investigation, opted against dropping out. Two write-in candidates have filed for the seat: Jay Conrad and Robert Leist.

    “If (Householder) withdraws between now and Election Day, one of the write-ins is going to win,” explained Licking County Board of Elections Director Brian Mead.

    Members of the Ohio House of Representatives voted to remove Householder as speaker. But the Republican majority decided against holding a vote to remove him from the chamber entirely.

    Speaker of the House Bob Cupp addresses the chamber.

    New Speaker Bob Cupp, R-Lima, said the law restricts a legislative body from removing a member more than once. With Householder up for reelection unopposed, this left open the possibility of him being removed now, winning a new term in November, then remaining in the chamber in 2021 and beyond.

    Cupp intimated the legislature should keep available the option of removing Householder at the start of the next term.

    Tyler Buchanan
    Tyler Buchanan is an award-winning journalist who has covered Ohio politics and government for the past decade. A Bellevue native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, he most recently spent 6 1/2 years as a reporter and editor of The Athens Messenger and Vinton-Jackson Courier newspapers. He is a member of the BG News Alumni Society Board and was a 2019 fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.