Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a leading figure within the libertarian-leaning Freedom Caucus, will run for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives next year, according to a letter he sent to colleagues on 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 wrote. “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.”
Incumbent Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is retiring at the end of the year, leaving a vacancy in the next Congress.
Jordan has a close relationship with a number of leading free market organizations. FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth, as well as prominent talk radio host Sean Hannity, have all already endorsed his candidacy.
He is likely to face a tough race, though, with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) still the leading contender. Some have suggested Jordan’s bid is aimed less at winning the Speakership and more at extracting concessions from House Republican leaders. The Freedom Caucus has made clear that it will use its votes to veto candidates for Speaker unless they pledge to coordinate closely with the Caucus.
Just yesterday, Jordan joined Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the chairman of the Freedom Caucus, in introducing articles of impeachment against Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General in charge of the ongoing investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government in 2016. Jordan’s consistently vocal opposition to the Russia investigation on Fox News and on the House Judiciary Committee has endeared him to President Donald Trump, who has described him, Meadows, and two other Freedom Caucus Congressmen as “absolute warriors”.