Former speaker stepping down from Ohio House

Republican Ryan Smith said Thursday that he is resigning his seat in the Ohio House to be president of the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College.

Smith served as House speaker from June to December 2018 and tried to hang onto the powerful post in January but lost to his GOP rival Larry Householder.

Smith said he is looking forward to leading the 1,200-student university and community college and making a difference.

RELATED: Householder returns to power as speaker of Ohio House

Smith joined the House in 2012, served as finance committee chairman and was positioned to take over the speakership when Republican Cliff Rosenberger would have left due to term limits.

But in April 2018, Rosenberger acknowledged to the Dayton Daily News that he had hired a criminal defense lawyer to handle an FBI inquiry.

Days later, Rosenberger resigned and a fight broke out over who would serve as speaker for the remainder of 2018.

After weeks of delays and then 11 rounds of voting, Smith won the job in the short-term. In January, however, Householder built a coalition of Republican and Democratic lawmakers to back him for speaker.

Smith’s resignation is effective Oct. 3.

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