ICYMI: Frank LaRose Puts His Political Ambitions ahead of Ohioans
March 28, 2023
Columbus, OH – In case you missed it, Haley BeMiller of the Columbus Dispatch reported today that Frank LaRose is now all in for a $20 million taxpayer-funded special election after – a year ago – calling August special elections “unnecessary,” and saying they “aren’t good for taxpayers, election officials, voters or the civic health of our state.”
Frank’s latest cave comes as Statehouse GOP leaders are pulling all the political levers they have in order to effectively kill citizen-led ballot initiatives in Ohio. LaRose, the “front man” for the anti-voter initiative who spoke out against special elections in August just last year, has now suddenly changed his tune to cater to his own political ambitions.
“Frank LaRose is once again making clear that the only thing he cares about is advancing his political career. Frank’s latest craven political stunt would cost Ohioans more than $20 million, and we’ll continue to remind voters who to blame when the bill comes due,” said Matt Keyes, spokesperson for the Ohio Democratic Party.
Testifying about August special elections in 2020, LaRose pointed to low turnout in counties around the state and said: “That means just a handful of voters end up making big decisions. The side that wins is often the one that has a vested interest in the passage of the issue up for consideration. This isn’t how democracy is supposed to work.”
Read more from the Columbus Dispatch here and below:
- Secretary of State Frank LaRose on Tuesday defended a potential August election for the effort to make it harder to amend the state constitution − just months after advocating to limit those elections.
- House and Senate Republicans have introduced resolutions to require 60% of voters to enact constitutional amendments, instead of a simple majority. Three-fifths of both chambers need to approve the question to place it on the ballot, giving voters the final say in whether the rules should change.
- Senate GOP leaders want voters to make that decision on Aug. 8 to get ahead of a possible November ballot question on abortion access. But the state Legislature, with LaRose’s support, passed a new law last year to eliminate most August elections due to low turnout and cost.
- LaRose’s comments came ahead of two committee hearings on the Senate resolution scheduled for this week. Republicans advocating for the August ballot are on a tight timeline: The measure must clear both the House and Senate by May 10, and lawmakers won’t meet during first two weeks of April.
- Under Ohio’s new election law, local governments and school districts can hold August elections only if they’re under a fiscal emergency. LaRose told lawmakers last year that very few voters participate, citing a Hamilton County special election in 2020 that generated 11.8% turnout.