COLUMBUS (WCMH)–Several Ohio House Republicans started an effort to impeach Governor Mike DeWine, because of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rep. John Becker leads the effort and Reps. Paul Zeltwanger and Nino Vitale support him, according to a website set up in favor of the effort.

Governor DeWine’s spokesperson, Dan Tierney, issued the following statement:

Governor DeWine is focused on saving lives during the pandemic. He is focused on helping the economy and getting Ohioans back to work. That is what he is focused on. Not this.

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken condemned Rep. Becker.

“It is despicable that anyone who considers themself to be conservative would make an attempt to impeach Governor DeWine. In a time of harsh political division, and an important election year, Republicans should be united. Ohio and the world have witnessed an unprecedented global pandemic – one that Governor DeWine has done a great job at leading us through. The attack by John Becker and his allies is a baseless, feeble attempt at creating attention for themselves, and it shifts the focus away from what should be the top priority for real Republicans: re-electing President Trump.”

Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes issued a statement, saying Republican dysfunction has reached a new low.

“Instead of working to rebuild the public’s trust or calling the House back from summer recess to address the very real public health and economic crises Ohio currently faces by focusing on protecting small businesses and slowing the spread of COVID-19, Republicans continue to fight one another over political power.

Ohioans deserve better leadership and I hope Republicans re-focus their attention towards the struggling Ohioans who need them to serve instead of enriching and promoting themselves.”

The articles of impeachment have yet to be filed and to actually remove Governor DeWine from office they will need support from the majority of the House of Representatives and two thirds of the State Senate. House Speaker Bob Cupp said in a statement he will not support the impeachment. 

“Having now had time to read and consider the draft resolution to impeach the Governor announced by a couple of members, it is clear to me that it is an imprudent attempt to escalate important policy disagreements with the Governor into a state constitutional crisis. Even serious policy disagreements do not rise to the level of impeachment under our constitution.
Legitimate debate and disagreement is occurring over the scope and breadth of some of the governor’s orders issued through the health department. I will continue to raise my concerns and disagreements and those of House members with the governor. However, informed dialogue and the law-making process are the best way to resolve these issues.
There is much work to do to revive Ohio’s economy, provide the testing and health care that those affected by COVID-19 need, and restart a high level of learning in our schools. We should be united in working on these efforts instead.”