Three women are expected to be part of the four-person House Democratic leadership when the caucus convenes next week, including a Columbus lawmaker.

All four voted last week to give Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, the votes he needed to become leader of the House chamber.

Two sources confirmed that the plan is for Rep. Emilia Sykes of Akron, a third-term lawmaker, to become the House minority leader, replacing Fred Strahorn of Dayton. Strahorn, who served four years as leader, agreed to step down after more than two-thirds of his caucus went against him and voted to make Householder the new House speaker. Strahorn was supporting former Speaker Ryan Smith, R-Bidwell.

Rep. Kristin Boggs of Columbus is expected to be assistant minority leader. A former assistant attorney general who has served three years in the House, Boggs has been a growing voice in the Democratic caucus.

If all goes to plan, rounding out the leadership team will be Rep. Kent Smith, D-Euclid, who, prior to the speaker vote, was expected to be the No. 4 leader, and freshman Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson of Toledo.

Rep. Brigid Kelly, D-Cincinnati, was supposed to be the No. 3 caucus leader, but stepped aside after the speaker vote where she, like Strahorn, supported Smith.

Women this session make up a record 28 members of the 99-member House, following a November election that saw several women get elected to the legislature, including five freshmen in Franklin County. Half of the 38 Democratic House members are now women, as are four of nine Senate Democrats.

House Democrats are expected to vote for leadership Jan. 23. House Republicans, which also split votes between Householder and Smith, also are working on filling out their leadership team.

Householder this week appointed an eight-member special committee on House rules. Rep. David Leland, D-Columbus, was one of three Democrats named to the group.

 

jsiegel@dispatch.com