State Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) is honored to be serving her first term in the Ohio Senate, representing District 23, following eight years of service in the Ohio House of Representatives. As a member of the House of Representatives, Antonio represented District 13 and served five years in leadership, including as Democratic Whip. Antonio has also served as a Lakewood City Councilmember, Executive Director of an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program for women and as a teacher for children with special needs.
Antonio serves as Highest Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid; Transportation, Commerce and Workforce; and Joint Medicaid Oversight Committees. She also serves on the Finance Committee, Finance Subcommittee on Health and the Ways and Means Committee. Additionally, she is a member of the Ohio House Democratic Women's Caucus—which she previously served on as chair—and is the State Director for the Women Legislators’ Lobby.
She has been a dedicated champion of workers’ rights, high-quality education, local governments, equal rights for women and the LGBT community, health care for all and fighting the opioid crisis.
Antonio is recognized as a leader who reaches across the aisle to get things done. As a result, she passed legislation such as Ohio’s historic adoption open records law (S.B. 23/H.B. 61) and a step therapy reform law (S.B. 265/H.B. 72). During each of her five terms in the Ohio legislature, Antonio has introduced the Ohio Fairness Act, now S.B. 11, which would provide civil rights protections for members of the LGBT community. She has also introduced a bill to end Ohio’s use of the death penalty, as well as an array of other bills focused on improving the lives of all Ohioans. Antonio continues to be an established expert in health policy in the General Assembly.
As the first in her family to graduate from college, she holds both an MPA and a B.S. Ed. from Cleveland State University, and she was named a CSU Distinguished Alumni in 2013. She is also an alumnus and Bohnett Fellow of the Kennedy School Harvard Leadership Program (2011).
Her daughters, Ariel and Stacey, have made Antonio and her wife Jean Kosmac very proud as the girls engage in their adult life journeys.
Antonio has made a number of historical firsts in the Ohio General Assembly. In 2010, she became the first member of the LGBT community ever elected, in the 208-year history of the Ohio General Assembly to the Ohio House of Representatives and again when she was elected to leadership as Minority Whip in the 131st General Assembly. In 2018, she became the first woman to hold the Senate District 23 seat and the first member of the LGBT community ever elected to the Ohio Senate.