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Householder remains on the 2020 ballot past key deadline

Tyler Buchanan, Ohio Capital Journal

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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.

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.

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