COLUMBUS - Senate Minority Leader Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) today released the following statements after the GOP’s failure to identify their Republican co-chair for the Ohio Redistricting Commission:
“It’s unfortunate we can’t get to work on behalf of the people of Ohio because of Republican infighting,” said Leader Antonio. “The Ohio Redistricting Commission is no place to play out a proxy war for the next Republican House speaker. Leader Russo and I continue to stand ready to serve the voters of Ohio to draw fair districts, and certainly hope we can do so as soon as possible.”
“The Republican-controlled commission has had more than 16 months to prepare for this. They have no one else to blame but themselves for this needless delay,” said Leader Russo. “These are the voters’ districts, not pawns in a political game. Let’s not shortchange voters of a fair, constitutional process and fall victim to petty political posturing. Ohioans expect their elected officials to get the work of the people done, and if not, then to get out of the way.”
The Republican-controlled commission was requested by Governor DeWine to have co-chairs announced by 5:00 p.m. Thursday in preparation for the scheduled meeting on Friday, September 15 at 8:00 a.m. ET.
Until co-chairs are selected, rules for the commission cannot be set, a timeline for three constitutionally mandated statewide public hearings cannot be held, and maps cannot be introduced.
By issuing his unrealistic timeline, Secretary of State Frank LaRose created a false sense of urgency to do something Republicans intended to do all along — pass maps with hardly any public input, all to expand their power grab on Ohio.