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Ohio House GOP hits wall over successor to speaker who resigned

Cliff Rosenberger (File: Ohio House)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Republicans seeking to replace an Ohio House speaker who resigned amid an FBI inquiry surrounding his activities have reached a stalemate.

Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring is the chamber's current leader. He says state Rep. Ryan Smith won the most votes Tuesday among three candidates to become interim speaker. However, Smith did not reach the 50-vote House majority that Schuring insists must be reached for any new speaker to be seated.

Schuring said he wasn't surprised by the impasse. He said then-Speaker Cliff Rosenberger's resignation in April opened up uncharted territory for the House. He could not say whether the chamber's 65 sitting Republicans would reconvene later Tuesday, or when.

Smith is Rosenberger's chosen successor. Two other lawmakers who are not running again are running as neutral placeholder candidates.

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