Ohio's House votes to make finance chairman its next speaker

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The Ohio House has picked former Speaker Cliff Rosenberger's chosen successor as their leader through the end of the year.

Finance Chairman Ryan Smith, of Gallia County, won the competition Wednesday, ending a weekslong impasse. He didn't receive a majority, but had more votes than any other candidate during the 11th round of voting, which gave him the win.

Lawmakers supported Smith over Democratic Minority Leader Fred Strahorn, of Dayton, and a surprise entrant, Republican Jim Hughes, of suburban Columbus. He also beat out conservative Republican Andy Thompson, the candidate initially favored by former Speaker Larry Householder.

Thompson supporters pitched him as a neutral placeholder who could restore normalcy and integrity to the chamber after Rosenberger's resignation last month amid an FBI inquiry. Rosenberger has denied any wrongdoing. Most Democrats supported Strahorn.

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