State Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) is honored to be serving in the Ohio Senate, representing District 23, and in leadership as the Assistant Minority Leader. Antonio, who was elected to the Senate in 2018, previously spent eight years in the Ohio House of Representatives, where she served District 13 and was also a member of leadership. Antonio has served as a Lakewood City Councilmember, Executive Director of an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program for women, Adjunct Professor and as a teacher for children with special needs.
Antonio serves as Highest Ranking Member on the Senate Health, Transportation, and Joint Medicaid Oversight Committees. She also serves on the Finance; Ways and Means; Workforce and Higher Education; Rules and Reference; and Joint Legislative Ethics Committees. Additionally, she is a member of the Ohio House Democratic Women's Caucus, previously as chair, and is the State Director for the National 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 has received numerous Awards for outstanding legislative leadership including the Cleveland State University Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award from the Maxine Levin College of Urban Affairs, and the 2019 ACAR J. Howard Battle Equal Opportunity in Housing Award from the Akron/Cleveland Association of Realtors. A full list of Senator Antonio’s awards can be found here.
Antonio is also recognized as a leader who reaches across the aisle to get things done. As a result, she championed Ohio’s historic adoption open records law (S.B. 23/H.B. 61) and step therapy reform law (S.B. 265/H.B. 72). Last General Assembly, Antonio passed legislation to abolish the shackling of pregnant inmates (S.B. 18/H.B. 1) and to require pharmacist education for dispensing life-saving naloxone (S.B. 59/H.B. 341). During her tenure in the Ohio legislature, Antonio has introduced the Ohio Fairness Act, which would provide civil rights protections for members of the LGBTQ community. She continues to work to remedy and end Ohio’s use of the death penalty, as well as on 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.
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) and has been the recipient of numerous awards as legislator of the year from various organizations during her tenure.
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 LGBTQ community ever elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in the 208-year history of the Ohio General Assembly. She was also the first LGBTQ member to hold a leadership position, when she was elected Minority Whip in the 131st General Assembly. In 2018, she became the first woman ever to hold the Senate District 23 seat and the first member of the LGBTQ community ever elected to the Ohio Senate. She continues historic firsts with her Senate leadership position, of Minority Whip, then Assistant Minority Leader in 2021.