House Democrats abstain from straw poll about speaker vote

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Democrats have decided not to participate in a straw poll the leader of the Ohio House is using to try to break a gridlock over who should be the next speaker.

Republican Rep. Kirk Schuring has given members until Friday to choose one of two options for proceeding.

Those options are either to take a floor vote Wednesday or change House rules to empower Schuring to be speaker without a vote.

The House remains unable to pass any more bills this year unless either change takes place.

Democratic spokesman Peter Shipley says Schuring’s private tally of members’ preferences is highly irregular. He says Democrats are concerned it could violate state open-meeting laws.

Schuring has led the House since Republican Speaker Cliff Rosenberger resigned last month amid an FBI investigation.