Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Bob Cupp's office)
Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Bob Cupp's office)
Representative Bob Cupp (R-Lima) was selected and sworn in as Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives during the Ohio House’s Thursday afternoon session, following a 55-38 vote.

As reported earlier, the Ohio House of Representatives voted 90-0 Thursday morning to remove Larry Householder as Speaker of the House following a criminal complaint and an indictment charging Householder in an alleged racketeering conspiracy.

According to Speaker Cupp’s Ohio House website, “Bob Cupp grew up working on his family’s farm in rural Allen County. A graduate of Columbus Grove Local schools, he earned his political science and law degrees from Ohio Northern University.

“Representative Cupp is serving his third term in the Ohio House of Representatives. He has served as an elected official in all three branches of government and at both the local and state levels: as an Allen County commissioner, a four-term state senator, a court-of-appeals judge, and a justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio. He also served as a city prosecutor and as Chief Legal Counsel to former Ohio Auditor of State, Dave Yost.

“In the Senate, Cupp served two terms as the President Pro Tempore, the Senate’s second-highest leader. For his legislative accomplishments, he received numerous ‘Legislator of the Year’ awards from various organizations, was named a recipient of the ‘Watchdog of the Treasury Award’ five times and was awarded the prestigious ‘Guardian of Small Business Award’ from NFIB/Ohio. In 2017, Representative Cupp received the Dick Maxwell School Finance Award from the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA).

“In addition to his public service, Cupp engaged in the private practice of law in Lima for more than 25 years and has taught courses in leadership studies, judicial process and state education policy at Ohio Northern University.”

According to video provided by the Ohio Channel, Representative Timothy Ginter (R-Salem) nominated Cupp as the new House Speaker.

“History shows us that regardless of the dismal darkness of the impending challenges that face the people, the critical question is: who will lead us?” Ginter said. “Everything rises and falls on leadership. Examples of leaders in the past confirm this. The ability, strength and character of the leader sets the course and establishes the environment.”

Rep. Ginter said that he has worked closely with Cupp “through the close proximity of our offices,” frequently discussing “legislation, policy and life in general.”

“I’ve come to recognize that Representative Bob Cupp, in the midst of all types of situations, is a man, is a statesman, is an individual that handles himself with integrity and character,” Ginter said. “Bob Cupp, Representative Bob Cupp, will listen to us. Representative Bob Cupp will establish fairness in the Ohio House. I believe experience counts, and Representative Bob Cupp has served in many positions through his career. There are few that can really match his résumé of accomplishments and the length and the public nature of his service. Because of that, his service reveals the statute of his integrity.”

Rep. Ginter added that “it is an absolute priority that we put a person” in the Ohio House Speaker seat who “is beyond reproach.”

“I believe Bob Cupp is that person,” he said.

Rep. Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) seconded the nomination.

“Representative Bob Cupp is prepared to be Speaker of the House of the Ohio Representatives,” Rep. Stephens said. “This is the time for him to step up, and I am grateful for his willingness to do so.”

Following the remarks from Reps. Ginter and Stephens, nominations were closed, and a roll call vote was taken. The motion passed, 55-38, after which Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith French immediately administered the oath of office to Rep. Cupp.

Cupp then addressed the House, saying, “I will do my best to live up to the characterization you have given me.”

“I am deeply grateful to have earned the support of my colleagues in the Ohio House of Representatives, the people’s house, who have entrusted me with the position of Speaker,” Cupp said. “It’s a great privilege to lead this chamber. I’m sorry it is in such difficult and trying and unprecedented times as this, however. I pledge to do so honorably and fairly and humbly. It is imperative to restore the public’s trust in our elected officials.”

Cupp added that there has been “a serious and unprecedented breach of trust.”

“I know I am not alone in facing these issues, and I ask for your support and your help as we look to each other in a search for the best solutions,” he said.

Following Cupp’s comments, the House adjourned until Aug. 4.

According to a press release from House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron), “every member of the Democratic Caucus voted against” Cupp Thursday, as House Republicans voted to appoint Cupp as Speaker of the House.

“We don’t trust any of them,” Sykes said.

State Representative Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro) issued the following statement Thursday evening:

“I stood by my colleagues today in doing the moral act of voting Larry Householder out of his position as Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives,” Wilkin said. “In doing so, I was also proud to stand by my colleagues in electing Bob Cupp (R-Lima) as the next Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives.

“Speaker Cupp is a great selection to lead the Ohio House of Representatives. Few, if any, have a résumé like his, and I look forward to working alongside him to help keep Ohio moving forward with strong conservative values.”

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine also issued a statement Thursday evening.

"I congratulate Bob Cupp upon his election as the new Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives,” DeWine said. “Speaker Cupp is a man of integrity who will serve Ohio well. I look forward to working with Speaker Cupp and Senate President Obhof in the days ahead."