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Freedom Caucus Rep. Jim Jordan to run for speaker of the House

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) announced Thursday that he will run for speaker of the House if his party holds the majority following the midterm elections. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) announced Thursday that he's launching a bid to become the next speaker of the House. He is the first Republican to throw his hat into the ring to replace Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who is stepping down at the end of his term in January.

What did Jordan say?

"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 told the Dayton Daily News.

"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."

The lawmaker notified his Republican colleagues of his campaign in a letter that was released to The Hill, wherein he says that their first priority should be keeping the party's majority.

"After that, we can focus on filling the vacancy resulting from Speaker Ryan's retirement from Congress," Jordan wrote. "At that time, I plan to run for speaker of the House to bring real change to Congress."

Who is this guy?

Jordan is a co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, and was first elected to his seat in 2006.

In March, 100 tea party leaders signed an open letter to the congressman, urging him to "immediately" announce his run for speaker.

The letter praised Jordan for having "an unwavering commitment to our constitutional liberties and conservative principles of free market economics, budgetary discipline, traditional values and a strong national defense."

But in spite of the support, Jordan has not been immune from controversy.

A number of former Ohio State wrestlers recently accused the congressman of ignoring their claims that a team doctor sexually abused them while Jordan was an assistant coach in the program decades ago. Jordan says none of them had ever approached him about the allegations during his time at that school, with his office insisting, "Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio state."

On Wednesday, Jordan joined fellow Freedom Caucus member Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) in introducing articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

When asked for her thoughts on Thursday about Jordan's plans run for speaker, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, "I don't know, but what I've heard is Jim Jordan wants to take attention away from the scrutiny that he is under in Ohio. That could be part of it."

Is anyone running against him?

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told an audience on Wednesday that he intends to run for speaker, but has not yet formally announced his candidacy.

When Ryan announced that he would not seek re-election, he endorsed McCarthy as his replacement. In response to the news that Jordan was launching a bid, Ryan said in a news conference, "I support Kevin McCarthy — everybody knows that."

Fox News, The Washington Post and other outlets reported speculation that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) would also run for speaker, but Scalise announced in April that he would also be throwing his support behind McCarthy.

One last thing…
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