House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) today announced changes to the caucus’ leadership team, following Democratic Whip Rep. Nickie J. Antonio’s (D-Lakewood) recently announced campaign for the Ohio Senate. Internal caucus rules require members seeking elected office outside the Ohio House to forgo any official leadership post or duties.
“I feel confident that our work as a caucus and leadership team during the last three years has better positioned us to influence the discussion at the Statehouse,” said Rep. Antonio. “I have been honored to be a part of that, and I look forward to continuing to serve my constituents and the caucus in every way possible.”
House Democrats nominated and elected state Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) to replace Antonio as Democratic whip. Sykes had been serving on leadership as assistant whip for the past year.
“As we head into the New Year, I am eager to continue our work of standing up for a strong middle class and pushing pro-family policies that let people plan for their future,” said Rep. Sykes.
State Rep. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) was elected as assistant whip to round out the four-person House Democratic leadership team.
“I am honored to play a bigger role in advancing our caucus’ pro-job and pro-worker priorities into 2018 and beyond,” said Kelly. “It’s a great feeling to be a part of a caucus and team who puts working families first.”
Kelly, a freshman lawmaker from the Cincinnati area, brings experience as a local elected official and representative for members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) to the caucus’ leadership team.
“After years of slow growth, drug addiction and limited opportunity, it is important to the people we represent that we head into 2018 with an intense focus and drive to get our state back on track,” said Leader Strahorn. “Having the right people in place at the right time means we’re closer to the day when all Ohioans feel they have an equal opportunity to get ahead.”
The full Democratic leadership team is as follows:
- Leader Fred Strahorn (Dayton)
- Assistant Leader Nicholas J. Celebrezze (Parma)
- Whip Emilia Strong Sykes (Akron)
- Assistant Whip Brigid Kelly (Cincinnati)