State Rep. Gary Click continues social media tirade following Ohio House speaker vote
State Representative Gary Click (R-Vickery) continued to air his grievances on social media Saturday after a bipartisan coalition in the Ohio House elected state Rep. Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) as the chamber’s next speaker in a surprise upset earlier this week.
In a Facebook post, Click called some of his fellow Republicans “godless” and accused them of trying to “blow up the Republican Party in the name of unity.”
“Depublicans [sic] like Sarah Caruthers [sic] are the most godless people I know right now. Not only because of what they did which is bad enough but because of how they did it and how they gloat and try to justify it,” Click wrote in the post published Saturday morning. “Unity? Stability? I don’t think they realize how much they stepped in it. Add oblivious to everything else I said. To quote the Good Book, ‘Be sure your sin will find you out.'”
Click, a controversial Baptist preacher from Sandusky County, had supported state Rep. Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township) for the speaker position and was critical of the vote that resulted in Stephens’s election.
Merrin, a far-right Toledo area lawmaker, was largely expected to win the speaker position after he was already elected in a non-official party vote ahead of the official vote on Tuesday.
But that plan came to a halt on Tuesday, when all 32 House Democrats joined 22 Republicans in voting for Stephens as speaker. In total, 54 votes went to Stephens and 43 votes — all from Republicans — went to Merrin.
On Friday, the Ohio Republican Party’s central committee voted to condemn Speaker Stephens and the other 21 Republican lawmakers who joined Democrats in voting for Stephens to serve as speaker. State Rep. Sara Carruthers (R-Hamilton), who Click called one of the “most godless people” he knows right now, was among those censured by the committee.
In a separate message posted to Twitter on Saturday, Click labeled the 22 Republicans who voted for Stephens as “fakes” who “blew up the Republican Party.”
I’ve lost total respect for many of m “colleagues.” These so-called republicans are worse than Democrats. At least the Ds did what seemed best for their caucus. These fakes blew up the Republican Party. https://t.co/7Q97ooxY7T
— Rep Gary Click (@clickforohio) January 7, 2023
“I’ve lost total respect for many of m [sic] ‘colleagues.’ These so-called republicans are worse than Democrats. At least the Ds did what seemed best for their caucus. These fakes blew up the Republican Party,” Click tweeted.
House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) told reporters that Democrats voted for Stephens, who is described as a more “moderate conservative,” because they believed he would do a better job fostering bipartisanship, compared to Merrin.
“I pledge to respect and to work with each and every one of you,” Stephens said in his acceptance speech.
Click’s social media followers seemed conflicted about the lawmaker’s sentiments.
“Isn’t that what we want though sometimes? Both parties working together, like it used to be?” a Clyde woman commented.
“You didn’t lift a finger to stop blatantly unconstitutional maps from being illegally imposed on voters but you blow a gasket when your extremist pick for Speaker doesn’t win?,” another social media user asked of Click.
One commenter was able to find some common ground with the lawmaker. In response to Click’s post, a Fremont woman tweeted, “That the GOP is in disarray in Columbus as well as in DC.”
Click replied, “I don’t disagree.”
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