Shane Wilkin is tentatively scheduled to be sworn-in as the new state representative from the 91st House District at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Wilkin originally said Monday the ceremony would take place in the House chambers, just after the election of a presiding officer of the House. Wilkin will be accompanied by his wife, Kristy, and two daughters, Piper and Parker, with Kristy holding the Bible during his oath of office.
Later Monday, Wilkin said he had received a call from Columbus indicating that Wednesday’s schedule of events may be in flux.
If the swearing-in takes place as planned, Wilkin plans to preside over his final meeting as president of the Highland County Board of Commissioners Wednesday morning, resigning from the board just before heading to Columbus.
Wilkin said Monday he is excited about his future as a state rep, but has mixed emotions about leaving the county commission, where “I have a lot of gray hairs attached” over the past decade as a commissioner.
Wilkin last week defeated Beth Ellis in the GOP primary, and because of the resignation of Cliff Rosenberger — the speaker of the House who represented the 91st District — the winner of that primary is being seated immediately to fill the remainder of Rosenberger’s term this year. Wilkin will run in the November election against Democratic candidate Justin Grimes.
Wilkin said he had hoped that Highland County Probate and Juvenile Judge Kevin Greer could be on hand to administer the oath, but Greer has three hearings Wednesday and cannot break away. As of Monday, Wilkin wasn’t sure who would do the honors.
Also of interest will be an upcoming battle to be the new speaker of the Ohio House in a matchup featuring state Rep. Larry Householder and state Rep. Ryan Smith.
Wilkin’s campaign was supported by forces aligned with Householder, while Ellis was backed by the Ohio Republican Organizational Committee (OHROC), controlled by Smith after Rosenberger’s resignation.
The Columbus Dispatch reported last week, “In the 11 open primary races in which OHROC spent time and/or money supporting a candidate, the Householder-backed opposing candidate won or is leading in 10 of them…”
The newspaper added that Householder’s supporters “have said that, all told, up to 20 Republican candidates who won Tuesday are on his side. Some people question that number, but regardless, Householder had a good day.”
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456, or follow on Twitter @AbernathyGary.