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December Legislative Update: Republicans grow their majorities in 2016 elections

Antonio Ciaccia, Director of Government & Public Affairs & Michelle Fitzgibbon, Lobbyist

Republicans Grow Their Majorities in 2016 Elections

As of this writing, the election is over, and OPA is working overtime in ‘lame duck session’ to ensure passage of several priority items for pharmacists. Be sure your email address is current with OPA to ensure you are receiving our action alerts, as we expect several before the end of 2016.

The results of the November election are in, and Republicans outperformed expectations and added to their overwhelming majorities in both the Ohio House and Ohio Senate. At the federal level, Democrats were able to chip away at the GOP majorities in the U.S. House and Senate, but Republicans retain control of both chambers. The impact of the top of the ticket, with Donald Trump defeating Hillary Clinton and an array of third party candidates, did appear to have a great impact on the rest of the ballot in several key parts of the country.

To recap, for Ohio’s 132nd General Assembly which begins in 2017, House Republicans picked up one seat and will control 66 seats, while House Democrats will control 33. Notable changes for next year include:

•District 1: Scott Wiggam wins the seat of retiring Speaker Pro Tempore Ron Amstutz

•District 7: Sen. Tom Patton will be replacing Rep. Mike Dovilla

•District 16: Dave Greenspan will be replacing Rep. Nan Baker

•District 17: Tommy Greene will be replacing Rep. Mike Curtin

•District 23: Laura Lanese will be replacing Rep. Cheryl Grossman

•District 24: Rep. Stephanie Kunze was elected to the Senate and will be trading seats with the current seat-holder Sen. Jim Hughes

•District 25: Bernadine Kent wins the seat of term-limited Kevin Boyce

•District 30: Rep. Lou Terhar was elected to the Senate and will be trading seats with the current seat-holder Sen. Bill Seitz

•District 31: Brigid Kelly will be replacing Rep. Denise Driehaus

•District 32: Catherine Ingram will be replacing Rep. Christie Bryant Kuhns

•District 49: Thomas West will be replacing Rep. Stephen Slesnick

•District 53: Candice Keller will be replacing Rep. Tim Derickson

•District 57: Dick Stein will be replacing Rep. Terry Boose

•District 62: Scott Lipps will be replacing Rep. Ron Maag

•District 63: Glenn Holmes will be replacing Rep. Sean O’Brien, who will be moving to the Senate

•District 68: Rick Carfagna will be replacing Rep. Margaret Ann Ruhl

•District 70: Darrell Kick will be replacing Rep. David Hall

•District 72: Former Speaker of the House Larry Householder is returning and replacing Rep. Bill Hayes

•District 82: Craig Riedel will be replacing Rep. Tony Burkley

•District 84: President of the Senate Keith Faber will be moving back to the House to replace retiring Rep. Jim Buchy

•District 87: Wes Goodman will be replacing Rep. Jeff McClain

•District 94: Republican Jay Edwards picked up the one ‘flipped’ seat in the House, taking over for Democrat Rep. Debbie Phillips

In the Ohio Senate, Republicans picked up one seat and will control 24 seats, while Democrats will control 9. Notable changes for next year include:

•District 8: Sen. Bill Seitz was elected to the House and will be trading seats with current seat-holder Rep. Lou Terhar

•District 12: Former House Speaker Pro Tempore Matt Huffman is returning and replacing Senate President Keith Faber, who will be moving to the House

•District 17: Sen. Jim Hughes was elected to the House and will be trading seats with current seat-holder Rep. Stephanie Kunze

•District 24: Matt Dolan will be replacing Sen. Tom Patton, who will be moving to the House

•District 28: Vernon Sykes will be replacing Sen. Tom Sawyer

•District 30: Republican Frank Hoagland picked up the one ‘flipped’ seat in the Senate, defeating incumbent Sen. Lou Gentile

•District 32: Rep. Sean O’Brien will be moving to the Senate, replacing Sen. Capri Cafaro

At the federal level, while there were changes in Congress’ make-up, Ohio’s delegation stayed exactly the same. In the House, all 16 members of Ohio’s delegation will return in 2017, as well as Senator Rob Portman, who successfully fended off a challenge from former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland.

In total, in the U.S. House of Representatives, Republicans went from 246 seats to 241, and Democrats picked up a few seats bringing their total from 186 to 194. n the U.S. Senate, Republicans went from 54 seats to 52, and Democrats went from 44 seats to 46. There are two independents who remain in the Senate as well, but they both caucus and typically align with Democrats, so generally speaking, most consider it a 52-48 split.

Please be sure to look up your districts to see if any of these changes impact you. If you don’t see your current officeholder listed here, that means, they’re likely keeping their spot next year. If you do see your district listed above, now is a great time to reach out to build the relationship and to become a resource for them on pharmacy issues. Remember, you may be their best/only source of information when it comes to your profession – it is important that you step forward to ensure someone else isn’t driving the discourse. Contact Antonio Ciaccia at if you already have a relationship with your elected officials or if you’re interested in ways to get better acquainted with them.

Lastly, we’d like to congratulate OPA Past President Danny Bentley, who won his seat for the Kentucky House of Representatives 98th District! Way to go Danny, and best of luck!

Pharmacy Political Action Committee

Please consider financial support of our legislative efforts by contributing to the OPA Pharmacy PAC. One hundred percent of Pharmacy PAC money goes to help candidates who support pharmacy in Ohio. Visit to make a donation!

For more information, contact Antonio Ciaccia at 614.389.3236 or

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