Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Ohio former House Speaker Larry Householder to stand for reelection amid bribery charges

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Republican Rep. Larry Householder’s name will be on the ballot Election Day as the disgraced Ohio lawmaker intends to serve his district for another term despite facing federal bribery charges for his alleged involvement in a $60 million bribery scheme that shook the Statehouse this summer and led his party to remove him from the House speaker role.

Householder, who was removed from his leadership post in a unanimous vote following his arrest, was one of the driving forces behind House Bill 6, the disputed legislation which added a fee to every electricity bill in the state and directed over $150 million a year, through 2026, to the plants near Cleveland and Toledo.

Householder and others are accused of helping shepherd energy company money for personal and political use as part of an effort to pass the legislation, then kill an attempt to repeat it at the ballot. The other four defendants have all pleaded not guilty.

Householder’s successor, newly elected Speaker Bob Cupp, announced Monday the creation of a new committee tasked with addressing the future of House Bill 6 after the federal affidavit released in late July cast doubt on the process by which the bill became law.

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“Our goal is to have an open and thorough process for repealing House Bill 6 and replacing it with thoughtful legislation Ohioans can have confidence in,” Cupp, a Lima Republican, said in a statement commencing his first day of legislative action since becoming speaker on July 30.

Householder, of Glenford, has held the seat since 2017 and faces no challenger on the Nov. 3 ballot. However, three write-in candidates are hoping to unseat the incumbent and capitalize on the fallout of the federal investigation that has tainted his reputation, even within his own party.

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