Today, state Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) took the oath of office to serve in the Ohio Senate as Senate Minority Leader during the 135th General Assembly. She is the first LGBTQ+ Minority Leader in the history of the Ohio Senate.
“I’m excited to embark on this new chapter as Senate Minority Leader following Leader Yuko, who leaves behind an incredible legacy of service, kindness and bipartisanship,” said Senator Antonio. “As a caucus, we have the opportunity to fight for policies that reflect the diversity of our state and give young people a reason to stay in Ohio, like tackling maternal and infant mortality, ensuring quality childcare for families, supporting our public schools with the Fair School Funding Plan and creating good-paying jobs. Together, we will work for an Ohio that works for all – not just some.”
Antonio will serve as Senate Minority Leader in her second term in the Ohio Senate after previously serving as Assistant Minority Leader. Prior to her election to the Senate, Antonio served four terms in the Ohio House of Representatives for the 13th House District.
She has been a dedicated champion of workers’ rights, high-quality education, local governments, equal rights for women and the LGBTQ+ community, health care for all, fighting the opioid crisis and ending the death penalty in Ohio.
Antonio is recognized as a leader who reaches across the aisle to get things done. As a result, she has worked to pass legislation such as Ohio’s historic adoption open records law (SB 23/HB 61) and a step therapy reform law (SB 265/HB 72). During each of her four terms in office, Antonio introduced the Ohio Fairness Act to protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination, a bill to end Ohio’s use of the death penalty and an array of other bills focused on improving the lives of all Ohioans. Antonio continues to be an established expert in health policy.
The first in her family to graduate from college, Antonio holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the Maxine Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University (CSU) as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from CSU. Antonio is an alumna of the Harvard Kennedy School Senior and Executive Leadership Program for State and Local Governments.
Daughters Ariel and Stacey, both Lakewood High School graduates, have made Antonio and her wife, Jean Kosmac, very proud as the girls progress through their life journeys.
Leader Antonio will represent the 23rd Senate District, which encompasses parts of Cuyahoga County, including Cleveland (part), Lakewood, Parma, Parma Heights and Bratenahl.