The eagerly anticipated 2023 Article V Simulated Convention hosted by the Convention of States Foundation quickly approaches its August 2 kickoff. A reprise of the original 2016 simulation, this year’s two-day event will once again be held in Williamsburg, Va. The simulation will demonstrate that a convention of the fifty states can successfully limit the deliberated topics, be run respectfully by legislative protocols, and can produce meaningful amendments to put before the states for supermajority ratification.
For the lawyers, legislators, and others chosen as delegates to this simulation, it will give practice, insight, and authenticity to the process. For the public, many misunderstandings and fears of a convention will be debunked. Convention of States volunteers have been invited to submit amendment proposals ahead of the simulation. The third and last day of the proceedings will be live-streamed.
Three delegates from Ohio have been chosen to participate in the upcoming Article V Simulated Convention: Ohio State Representative Riordan McClain, Ohio State Senator Michele Reynolds, and former Ohio State Representative Timothy Ginter.
Ohio Representative Riordan T. McClain
Representative Riordan has shown tremendous interest in calling for an Article V convention and is one of three delegates who will attend the simulated convention in August. McClain is currently serving his third full term in the Ohio House of Representatives having been appointed in January of 2018. He was the unanimous choice of the House Committee from a list of ten applicants. This speaks highly of the talents and competencies others saw in him.
Riordan and his wife Sarah reside in Upper Sandusky with their five children who they home school. Having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and an MBA, Riordan worked for a marketing and data analytics company that served Fortune 500 companies. Having managed an entire division within that company, he eventually joined a startup called Doc Investments, LLC for which he now serves as Director of Finance and Customer Service.
When asked about his decision to participate in the simulated convention, Rep. McClain responded, “There are many questions I and others have on what a convention will look like in reality. So, this will answer my questions on procedure. The education will be valuable.” When asked about his concerns about the Federal Government, Rep. McClain stated, “…continual growth of federal bureaucracy, the budget, which needs a balanced budget amendment, and setting term limits to stop lifelong terms.” Noting that the biggest issue facing our nation is the crushing debt, Rep. McClain asked to serve on the balanced budget committee during the simulation.
Ohio State Senator Michele Reynolds
Representing the people of District 3 in Franklin County, State Senator Michele Reynolds is currently serving her first term in the Ohio Senate. She lives in Canal Winchester with her husband, a pastor at a church called The Destiny Center, and their six children. Senator Reynolds has an extensive background working hands-on in the community having worked 25 years at the grassroots level. Senator Reynolds is not only a third-generation business owner, she serves as CEO of NISRE, Inc., a faith-based non-profit that supports homeless adults and at-risk youth. Reynolds also served as board chair on the Madison Township Board of Trustees.
Valuing education, Senator Reynolds holds a degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati, Master of Arts in Public Administration and Urban Studies from the University of Akron, Master of Law from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from CICA International University and Seminary, and is shy her dissertation for her earned doctorate degree in Business Administration from Northcentral University. She is also a licensed real estate salesperson in the State of Ohio specializing in commercial real estate.
Senator Reynolds has been highly awarded for her outreach work having been honored with a Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award from President Barack Obama in 2016. In 2019, she was inducted into the Ohio Commodores in recognition for her contribution to economic development, and in 2019 received the Central Ohio Social Justice Award for outstanding leadership.
Articulate, passionate, and goal-driven, this highly educated freshman senator has intimate personal knowledge of the needs of people in Ohio. With a unique background in real estate, public service, and community work, she is an excellent choice as a delegate to the Article V Simulated Convention and will certainly make an impact on the proceedings.
Senator Reynolds made it clear she would like to see Ohio pass a Convention of States this general assembly. When asked about her willingness to participate in the simulated convention despite her busy schedule, Reynolds responded, “I am fascinated by the US Constitution, and am currently a law student at the University of Dayton taking Constitutional Law. So having a real live experience in how the Constitution was formed, and being a part of that will not only reinforce my learning, but also make me a better legislator.” She has no specific amendments to take to Williamsburg, but added, “I am coming to learn. I am a problem-solver, so as I go through the process, I will submit amendments if I see needs arise.”
When asked what actions by the Federal Government she would like to see changed by an Article V convention, Senator Reynolds noted her concerns. “The Affordable Care Act individual mandate has some Constitutional issues. Also, Biden’s overreach on how people can finance homes – people with poor credit ratings would get lower rate loans, wealthier people with good credit are to be charged higher rates. This forced balance is definite overreach.”
Ohioans who support the invocation of Article V will be very excited to learn about the experiences of Senator Reynolds at the simulated convention. We are excited to learn how her attendance affects her confidence in a real-life Article V convention.
Former Ohio Representative Timothy Ginter
Former Speaker Pro Tempore Ginter left the Ohio House of Representatives in January 2023, having served since 2015. For much of his life Timothy has been involved with influencing people: as a Nazarene pastor, an activist in local government agencies, and Ohio politics. He seems perfectly suited as one of the Ohio delegates to the simulated convention where extensive negotiating is a certainty.
While in the House, he chaired the Community and Family Advancement Committee and the Advisory Board of the Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. He was also appointed a member of the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood. Heavily involved in the community, Ginter is a member of the Ohio Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association, Buckeye Firearms Association, Salem Chamber of Commerce, an associate member of the Columbiana County Township Association, and a member of the Columbiana County Republican Party Central Committee. Tim stays busy and involved!
Ginter lives in Salem, Ohio with his wife Pam of 39 years. They have one daughter Angie and three grandchildren. He has a broad work background as a machinist, director of development, and vice-president of marketing with an IT company. He has been a pastor of five churches and has been an ordained minister for 39 years. He was a conference speaker/minister nationally and internationally for 7 years, speaking in approximately 250 church conferences.
When asked about his willingness to make time to attend the 2023 Article V Simulated Convention, Ginter responded, “I see the wisdom of the COS, especially for conditions as they are today. I am eager to participate. There is still a great deal of fear of a runaway convention. Our challenge will be [in] negating that. I don’t know what level of desperation our nation needs to get to where people will take another look at their fear of Article V.”
While Mr. Ginter has yet to create his own amendments to take to the simulated convention, he is eager to participate in the process. He sees the wisdom in evoking Article V, especially considering the conditions of our country today. “I want to see the reduction of the power and size of the federal government. I believe that holding a COS will be a shift in the balance of power away from massive federal government back to a more structured and balanced government of states and federal.” states Ginter. “The states have been losing at a very rapid pace their autonomy and individuality. The federal government has been swallowing up, literally, the rights and authority of the states.”
Despite having termed out of the House, as a respected leader, Mr. Ginter still has influence in Columbus. “I will be working as much as I can with Riordan and other legislators. Having been Speaker Pro Tem of the House, I am still contacted at times seeking my input, so I have a bit of voice to try to persuade our legislators to approve the resolution. I have friendships in both houses with people I have worked with, so one-on-one conversations can help answer questions, explain, and persuade as the resolution works its way to passage.”