Nickie was the first out LGBTQ person elected to the Ohio State Senate!
Nickie J. Antonio, Ohio State Senator and Assistant Minority Leader, has long been a stalwart champion for reproductive rights, equality and fairness for women, youth, families, seniors, the disability and LGBTQ communities.
The highest ranking member on the Senate Health and Transportation Committees; Finance, Ways and Means, Workforce and Higher Education, Rules and Reference Committees, Antonio is a recognized 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). In 2019, Antonio passed legislation to abolish the shackling of pregnant inmates (SB 18/HB 1) and to require pharmacist education for dispensing life-saving naloxone (SB 59/HB 341). During her tenure in the Ohio legislature, Antonio has continuously introduced the Ohio LGBTQ Fairness Act.
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 in the 208-year history of the Ohio General Assembly. She was also the first LGBTQ member to hold a leadership position, as Minority Whip. In 2018, she became the first woman ever to hold the Senate District 23 seat and first LGBTQ community member ever elected to the Ohio Senate. Her historic firsts continued with her 2021 Senate leadership position, of Assistant Minority Leader.
Antonio holds both MPA and BSEd degrees from Cleveland State University and is a Harvard Kennedy School, Bohnett Fellow (2011). Antonio and wife Jean Kosmac, have two adult daughters; Ariel and Stacey.