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Former State Rep. John Becker Running For Ohio GOP Chair

State Rep. John Becker (R-Union Twp) in the Ohio House.
Ohio House
State Rep. John Becker (R-Union Twp) in the Ohio House.

Former state Rep. John Becker, a controversial conservative who's filed articles of impeachment against Gov. Mike DeWine, is running for chair of the Ohio Republican Party.

Becker is running to succeed Jane Timken, who resigned as Ohio GOP chair to run for U.S. Senate. Becker says he can connect with regular Ohioans, has grass roots experience and is not what many would consider an establishment Republican. 

“I was out in the rural areas, everywhere from Clermont County to Lawrence County, connecting with regular people, and that’s something the establishment seems to forget about," Becker says.

Becker served as state representative from 2013-2020, but was barred from running for re-election due to term limits. Last year, he become a central figure opposing DeWine's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, introducing bills to limit the power of public health orders and filing articles of impeachment over the governor's delay of the 2020 primary election and closure of non-essential businesses.

"We all know that the Ohio Republican Party has serious fractures and needs to restore Republican voter trust and confidence," Becker said in his announcement. "I can do that."

As a House member, Becker regularly promoted legislation to restrict abortions, most recently introducing a bill that would immediately outlaw all abortions in Ohio if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned "Roe v. Wade." In 2019, Becker proposed a bill banning most insurance companies from offering coverage for abortion services, as well as promoting a questionable medical procedure that Becker later admitted he did not research beforehand.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.