Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has officially thrown his hat in the ring for the race to replace Paul Ryan as speaker of the House, The Daily Caller News Foundation confirmed Thursday.
“Should the American people entrust us with the majority again in the 116th Congress, I plan to run for Speaker of the House to bring real change to the House of Representatives,” Jordan said in a statement provided to the DCNF. “President Trump has taken bold action on behalf of the American people. Congress has not held up its end of the deal, but we can change that. It’s time to do what we said.”
Jordan is a co-founder of the staunchly conservative House Freedom Caucus. He's known for his combative interrogations of several intelligence officials during House hearings. His bulldog conservative attitude has already earned him the endorsement of the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.
“Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund and our network of supporters and grassroots activists fully support Rep. Jim Jordan’s bid for Speaker of the House," Chairman Jenny Beth Martin said in a statement. "For too long, the House of Representatives has been in need of new leadership — it has needed leadership as determined to drain the swamp as is President Trump. We are confident that Rep. Jordan will lead Congress to work with President Trump to do what Republicans have promised to do — repeal ObamaCare fully, build a wall along the southern border to reduce illegal immigration, stop borrowing money and running up the national debt, and cut taxes and regulations to sustain our current economic revival . As Speaker, Jim Jordan will also work to improve the process of drafting new legislation by making it more fair, so that more than a small handful of Members of Congress and their staffs will participate in writing bills. Rep. Jordan has been a solid, constitutional conservative warrior for years. Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund applauds Rep. Jim Jordan and knows he will be an excellent Speaker.”
Jordan's bid is at risk, though, of being tainted by a recent scandal. In the past several weeks, the congressman has pushed back against allegations that he covered up abuse at Ohio State University. When he was an assistant wrestling coach, the team doctor was reportedly sexually abusing several of the players. Former wrestlers insist Jordan knew what was going on, but failed to report it. Jordan denies those claims and has had several friends, including former OSU coaches, speak up on his behalf.
"From the first day I met Jim Jordan as a student athlete, he has been the most honorable man I have ever known and my respect and admiration for all he has done and accomplished is at the very highest level," said Russ Hellickson, former Ohio State head wresting coach.
Jordan added that his congressional colleagues, too, "can all see through that story." His Freedom Caucus colleague and Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) seems to think it will have no impact on the race.
Speaker Paul Ryan announced his retirement earlier this year. He plans to serve out his term until November. Other potential contenders to fill his shoes include GOP Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA).