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The Ohio Secretary of State's office is moving. Why depends on who you ask

Ohio Secretary Of State Frank LaRose (R) has his current office on 4th and Broad Streets in downtown Columbus.
Daniel Konik
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Ohio Secretary Of State Frank LaRose (R) has his current office on 4th and Broad Streets in downtown Columbus.

After nearly two decades, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office is moving to another location in downtown Columbus, a few blocks away from the Ohio Statehouse. Some Democrats say it’s political.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R-Ohio) confirmed his office is moving from its current location one block away from the Statehouse to another office a few blocks off Capitol Square, a building where Democratic state Sen. Bill DeMora said LaRose has an office for his U.S. Senate campaign.

The secretary of state "doesn't want to walk 10 to 15 minutes from his official office," DeMora said. “It doesn’t pass the smell test. It’s very sketchy. The fact is that he is doing this and spending taxpayer money yet again is to further his ambitious political career."

But LaRose denied any political connection between the move and his U.S. Senate campaign.

“This is the silliest non-story that I’ve ever seen that was planted by a Democrat operative," LaRose said.

LaRose said he doesn't have a campaign office, but, he said, the law firm that filed federal paperwork on his behalf is located in the building where the Secretary of State's new office will be located. The move is being made to downsize the office and save taxpayers money, LaRose said, adding that it will be more efficient and also safer for his staff.

"It pains me that we've got a lot of people who walk blocks and blocks to get to the office. They have to pay their own way for parking so it was my desire to get us into a building where all of our full time employees could have parking in a safe parking garage," LaRose said.

But DeMora said there's another reason LaRose might want to make this move: The new location is not going to be as conducive to dropping off petitions for future ballot issues.

"I don't see how any ordinary person could think that passes the smell test because it doesn't," DeMora said.

Contact Jo Ingles at jingles@statehousenews.org.