Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, a key figure in high-profile House GOP-led investigations, is seeking the speaker’s gavel after Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the role and declined to run again in a major leadership shakeup.
Jordan is known as a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump and serves as chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee.
The Ohio Republican gained a key endorsement from Trump on Friday. The former president said Jordan “will be a GREAT Speaker of the House, & has my Complete & Total Endorsement!” in a post on Truth Social.
Jordan has a longstanding reputation as a conservative agitator and helped found the hardline House Freedom Caucus. He has served in Congress since 2007.
As Jordan runs for speaker, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana has also announced a bid for the gavel, setting up a competitive race to succeed McCarthy.
Scalise and Jordan both supported objections to electoral college results when Congress met to certify Joe Biden’s presidential win on January 6, 2021, the same day a pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol seeking to overturn the election.
In addition to chairing the Judiciary Committee, Jordan is also the chair of the select subcommittee on the “weaponization” of the federal government. When McCarthy announced a House GOP impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, he said House Oversight Chairman James Comer would lead the effort in coordination with Jordan as Judiciary chair and Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith.
While Republicans say their investigative work is critical to informing the American public and ensuring accountability, Democrats frequently criticize Jordan as a hyper-partisan Trump defender and have accused him of using his perch to shield the former president in the run up to the 2024 presidential election.
As Jordan oversees key House GOP investigations, Democrats also point to the fact that he stonewalled in response to a subpoena for his testimony from the House select committee that investigated the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
Jordan and Scalise have both made a pitch for unity to House Republicans as they run for the speakership, an acknowledgment of the fractures within the conference following McCarthy’s exit.
Jordan has also downplayed concerns that he may be too conservative for some of the more moderate members of the GOP.
“I think we are a conservative-center-right party. I think I’m the guy who can help unite that. My politics are entirely consistent with where conservatives and Republicans are across the country,” Jordan told CNN’s Manu Raju.
CNN reported in 2020 that six former Ohio State University wrestlers said they were present when Jordan heard or responded to sexual misconduct complaints about team doctor Richard Strauss.
Jordan has emphatically denied that he knew anything about Strauss’ abuse during his own years working at OSU, between 1987 and 1995. “Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State,” his congressional office said in 2018.