COLUMBUS, Ohio (NewsNation) — A Republican lawmaker is leading an effort to impeach Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
State Rep. John Becker announced Monday that he has drafted 10 articles of impeachment against the Republican governor. Becker claims DeWine has violated the Ohio and U.S. Constitutions, and asks that his colleagues in the state’s House of Representatives support his call for the governor’s removal from office.
Becker claims that DeWine abused his power by implementing a statewide mask mandate and “arbitrarily” closing certain businesses, “while allowing other businesses to remain open.” He also claims that the governor “meddled in the conduct of a presidential primary election.”
“Due to the unilateral actions of Governor DeWine, a growing number of businesses have failed and continue to fail,” Becker said in a statement. “Millions of frustrated, exasperated, and suffering Ohioans are relying on the General Assembly to take control and end their government-driven affliction.”
It was unclear what law Becker believes DeWine broke that calls for impeachment. A message was left with his office.
Dan Tierney, Gov. DeWine’s press secretary, released a statement to NewsNation affiliate WJW, saying the governor “is focused on saving lives during the pandemic.”
“He is focused on helping the economy and getting Ohioans back to work,” Tierney said. “That is what he is focused on. Not this.”
Articles of impeachment cannot be vetoed and require a majority (50 votes) in the state’s House of Representatives and a two-thirds majority (22 votes) in the Ohio Senate for conviction and removal from office, according to Becker’s press release.
An impeachment website lists Rep. Nino Vitale, a Republican from Urbana, and Rep. Paul Zeltwanger, a Republican from Mason, as the only other backers of the movement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.