Ohio 94th House District Rep. Jay Edwards, R-Nelsonville, was elected last week to an Ohio House leadership position.
Edwards, who was elected in November 2018 to a second term, is now the majority whip in the Ohio House, joining the Ohio House’s leadership, headed by House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, in Perry County.
Edwards was unanimously elected to the whip position by members of the House, he said in a press release issued Wednesday.
“I’m humbled by the trust my colleagues have in me, and I look forward to working with them to help advance an agenda that supports Ohio families and invests in Ohio’s future,” Edwards said in the release.
The majority whip is responsible for “monitoring legislation and securing votes for legislation on the floor,” according to the Ohio House’s website, meaning the person in this position is typically responsible for drumming up support for his or her party’s bills, especially in the situation of a narrow vote on a bill that is of importance to the House’s majority leaders.
Typically, the legislative whip has less leeway to deviate from his or her party’s legislative agenda than other members, since the whip’s job is to ensure that members of his or her party vote according to the party platform.
Edwards in the press release argued that when he ran for the Ohio House, he made a “commitment that he would work every day to give southeast Ohio a strong voice in the legislature.” He said that that commitment will continue.
“The main reason I ran for office was to give our area a voice,” Edwards said in the release. “Although being a member of leadership requires a lot of time, it will undoubtedly give southeast Ohio a much bigger seat at the table. This is what led to my decision to run for this position.”
Edwards added in the release that he will “continue” working with Democrats and Republicans in the southeast Ohio region, and at the statehouse, to advance “meaningful policies for the region and the state.”
The Ohio House has six total majority leadership positions occupied by Republicans, and four total minority leadership positions occupied by Democrats (there are 99 representatives overall).
IN A SEPARATE RELEASE issued Saturday, Edwards’ office announced his committee assignments this term, including to the main budget-writing committee in the Ohio House.
Edwards will serve on the House Finance Committee, which will begin work on the new two-year state operating budget in March.
Edwards also will serve on the Finance Committee’s higher education subcommittee, which will focus on funding for the state’s public colleges and universities, as well as a separate standing committee on higher education.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve on these important committees during the upcoming budget debate,” Edwards said in his release. “I want to make sure southeast Ohio’s voice is heard as the Legislature works to craft a new budget for the state.”
Edwards was also named to the Public Utilities Committee, Commerce and Labor Committee and the Rules Committee, the release said.