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Is Ohio red, purple or beholden to unions and special-interest groups?

22 lawmakers who opposed conservative speaker have taken nearly $350,000 from government unions

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Seitz, Stephens, Edwards

Republican Ohio State Representatives (from left to right) Bill Seitz (Cincinnati), Jason Stephens (Kitts Hill) and Jay Edwards (Nelsonville).

On paper, the state of Ohio appears to be as red as they come. Per, “Ohio has a Republican trifecta and a Republican triplex,” meaning Republicans hold the offices of governor, secretary of state and attorney general (triplex), and they also control both chambers of the state legislature (a trifecta when the governor is of the same party).

This is not a new development. The Ohio Senate has been controlled by Republicans exclusively since 1992; the Ohio House has been controlled by Republicans for 26 of the last 31 years; and a Republican has been governor of Ohio for 27 of the past 31 years as well (Democrat Ted Strickland’s tenure was the only exception, from 2007-2010).

Ohio Speaker Jason Stephens

Ohio Representative Tom Patton who first denied saying that he opposed Rep. Derek Merrin due to his positions on right to work and fair wage legislation but later recanted after he was confronted with text messages obtained by The Ohio Press Network.

Ohio Representative Bill Seitz

State Representative Jay Edwards at a Statehouse press conference in 2017 to the right of then-Secretary of State Jon Husted (at the microphone). Larry Householder is on the on the far left. 

Ohio Representative Derek Merrin 

Ohio Representative Sara Carruthers

Lisa Murtha has worked 25 years as a freelance journalist nationwide and won multiple awards. In 2021 she was named “Best Freelance Writer” by the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists. Lisa is a contributing journalist to The Ohio Press Network.

Editor-in-Chief of The Ohio Press Network

Jack is also an investigative reporter for The Ohio Press Network and a Statehouse correspondent for WHK AM1420 in Cleveland. He hosts two podcasts, “Talkin’ Smack with Bob and Jack” and “Saving Liberty.”  

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