Meet Nickie Antonio: New State Senator for West Park


PHOTO CAPTION: New District 23 State Senator Nickie J. Antonio was sworn in Dec. 22 in a ceremony at the Brooklyn Senior Center. Her wife, Jean Kosmac, holds a copy of The Woman’s Bible. The ceremony was officiated by Judge Melody Stewart of the Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals, who joins the Ohio Supreme Court in January. About 100 people attended the ceremony.

The past week has been a roller coaster for District 13 State Representative Nickie J. Antonio.

On Saturday, she stood before 100 supporters, was sworn in for a new job, and talked with energy and enthusiasm about her plans for the future. On Tuesday, she celebrated the holidays with her wife, Jean Kosmac, and their two adult children, Ariel and Stacey. On Wednesday, she returned to Columbus to participate in a year-end flurry of legislation in the General Assembly.

On Jan. 7, when she returns to Columbus to begin work as the new District 23 State Senator, she will be the first woman to represent District 23, and the first member of the LGBT community ever elected to the State Senate.

District 23 includes West Park, Lakewood, Linndale, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Brook Park, Parma, Parma Heights, Middleburg Heights, Cuyahoga Heights, Cleveland Wards 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, and parts of Wards 3, 12 and 14.

The Senate District is 3 times larger than House District 13, where Antonio served four terms (2011-2018) and was the Minority Whip for the last two-year term. As a State Senator, she is limited to two consecutive four-year terms.

Looking forward to 2019

Antonio said her legislative agenda includes several areas with special meaning for West Park taxpayers.

Jobs: Small businesses are “the backbone of the community,” Antonio said. She wants to help build “the right climate to bring good-paying jobs to the district.” This includes pushing for infrastructure repair funds to fix roads and bridges and create new jobs.

Education: Antonio, a former teacher, says “We need to reduce high-stakes testing for kids. The kids are stressing out over the tests. Instead, they should be happy and excited about going to school.” She also wants to make schools have “more fair and robust funding.”

Healthy communities: “I want to work on decreasing the infant mortality rate and the maternal mortality rate. We’re losing too many mothers in the first year after the birth of their child.”

Antonio is looking forward to working with another Democrat, Representative Bride Rose Sweeney of West Park. The Democrats are in a minority in both chambers of the General Assembly, and Antonio stresses bi-partisanship as a way to keep legislation moving on meaningful items.


In May, Antonio defeated Martin Sweeney in the primary, and in November, she was elected to State Senate. Her past jobs prepared her well for that role.

From 2006-2010, Antonio served 5 years on Lakewood City Council, and then studied leadership in State and Local Government one summer at the JFK School of Government at Harvard University.

From 1996-2011, she served as President of StAr Communication Consulting, working with non-profit groups in a variety of areas. She stepped down to become a full-time State Legislator. She has also worked as a special education teacher, and during the 1990s, was a non-profit executive director of a women’s outpatient treatment drug/alcohol treatment program.

A graduate of Lutheran West High School, she has two degrees from Cleveland State University — a Bachelors in Special Education and Training, and a Masters of Public Administration, with a focus in Public Policy Analysis and Organizational Development.

She also serves on the Community Engagement Committee for the Beck Center for the Arts and is involved in a number of legislative leadership organizations.

How to contact Nickie Antonio, after Jan. 1, 2019:
Call 614-466-5123
Send e-mail to
For overall Senate info, go to
For more specific info, go to
During much of the year, legislators meet in Columbus on Tuesday through Thursday and spend long weekends in their home districts.

Sweeney takes office early as new State Rep

CMYK Bride Rose Sweeney
(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

Phone: 614-466-3350

Mail: 77 South High St., Columbus OH 43215

E-mail: Go to