(Photo by Ohio House staff)
By Jerry Masek
Most new politicians elected in November have to wait until Jan. 1 to take office.
Not Bride Rose Sweeney. Because the Ohio House 14th District seat was vacant, she was appointed by Ohio House Democratic Caucus to fill the spot just one week after she won the Nov. 6 election.
House Speaker Ryan Smith administered the oath of office on Nov. 14, before Sweeney’s friends, family and fellow legislators.
“The first few days were a complete whirlwind,” Sweeney said. “I’ve already voted on a few bills.”
As a member of the 133rd General Assembly, Sweeney, 26, replaces her father, long-time politician Martin Sweeney. A native of West Park, it is believed that she is the first woman ever to represent District 14. She is also the youngest current state legislator.
District 14 includes Cleveland Wards 16 and 17, Parma Heights, Middleburg Heights, Brooklyn and Brook Park. Republicans hold a majority in both Houses of the General Assembly.
“This is the greatest honor of my life and I cannot thank everyone enough who led me here,” she wrote on Facebook. “I am grateful to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and to the citizens who put their trust in me. This election fulfills a lifelong dream for me.”
Sweeney said she will fight for better jobs, increased access to health care, and strong communities. In her campaign, she focused on protecting Medicaid expansion, restoring the Local Government Fund, and keeping higher education affordable.
Sweeney was named Bride after her grandmother, a first-generation American. The families lived on West 133rd Street, near Jefferson Park.
Her path to the Statehouse was clearly marked by two things — coming from a family of public servants and gaining valuable Statehouse experience right out of college.
A 2010 graduate of St. Joseph Academy, she majored in political science, and minored in business and leadership at John Carroll University.
After graduating in 2014, she was selected to be a fellow at the non-partisan Ohio Legislative Service Commission. She later worked for State Senators in the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus, including Ken Yuko. Now, she and Yuko are both members of the General Assembly.
When she declared her candidacy Feb. 3, she wrote on Facebook, “I know that a life of service dedicated to others is a life worth living. I am running because I believe government can do better, and together, we can make it work for all of us. I want to do my part to change the system and create a future we can all be proud of. My name may be familiar, but I am my own woman and have new, fresh ideas for the Statehouse.”
The Statehouse calendar usually requires legislators to be in Columbus several days each week, giving them ample time to meet with constituents in their home districts.
How to reach Representative Sweeney