First elected to the Ohio House in 1996, Larry Householder served as speaker from 2001 to 2004 before being term-limited. He returned to his family farm and business pursuits for over a decade. He ran for the House again in 2016, and was reelected two years later. In January, his colleagues elected him speaker. Householder received his bachelor's degree in political science from Ohio University.
You're in your second go-round as speaker. How have you changed?
When I was speaker before, I had five young sons and I don't think 1 had as much patience. Today I have a grandchild and more patience. When you're a parent of a large family, you learn that because all your children are different, you have to find ways to satisfy family goals with everyone. It's the same in the legislature. You find a way to accomplish goals working with various personalities and interests.
What prompted you to run again?
I saw term limits start to have a real negative effect here in Ohio. It seemed like there were a lot of pressing issues that weren't being handled through the legislature. I won my seat back and we've done some pretty significant things in a short period of time. It's an exciting time here in Ohio.
What are you most proud of?
We passed an energy policy that is moving away from renewable portfolio standards toward giving incentives for clean energy. That will save some nuclear power jobs. And we've focused a lot of resources into the families and communities impacted by the devastating opioid crisis, mainly in foster and elder care. We're really trying to rebuild our families and communities.
Why is bipartisanship important to you?
It's like walking into the junior high gym for a dance. The girls are all in one corner and the boys are in another corner. There's no action that can take place unless you get in the middle of the floor. I encourage the parties to work together to build relationships so we can learn to trust each other, and then find areas where we are similar. There are probably 12 or 13 out of our...