Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) confirmed his plan to run for Speaker of the House of Representatives this week after current Speaker Paul Ryan announced his plan to retire earlier in July. Jordan’s decision comes amid controversy that he had turned a blind eye on alleged sexual abuse during his tenure at Ohio State University. Dozens of men have come forward and accused Jordan of ignoring the actions of Dr. Richard Strauss the former medical doctor at Ohio State. Several former wrestlers came forward with accounts of their abuse and claimed that Jordan, who had been an assistant wrestling coach at the time, was aware of the alleged sexual abuse and did nothing.
Despite these allegations and the controversy that arose, President Trump has said he doesn’t believe the allegations against Jordan, as reported by the Inquisitr. And even though Ryan has announced his support of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, according to Vox, many conservatives and political action groups are backing Jordan for Speaker.
According to CNN, Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia’s Former Attorney General, tweeted his support for Jordan on Friday morning, saying “2 time National, Division I wrestling champion. 4 time (that’s every year folks…) Ohio State High School champion wrestler… Who better to wrestle the Dems to the ground?”
2 time National, Division I wrestling champion. 4 time (that's every year folks…) Ohio State High School champion wrestler…
— Ken Cuccinelli (@KenCuccinelli) July 27, 2018
FreedomWorks, a “conservative political advocacy group,” told CNBC that it was donating $500,000 to Jordan’s campaign for Speaker. FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon said that the donation is part of a “larger effort” to get conservative voters to support Republican candidates like Jordan in order for the GOP to keep control of the House.
“You have to understand Jim running for Speaker is a dream come true because a lot of the money being spent on the elections is on hyper-local issues. But our base doesn’t care about that. They care about the national issues and Jim entering this race creates a national issue to talk about it,” said Brandon.
In addition to the donation, FreedomWorks plans to stump for Jordan, visiting voters in “districts held by members of the House Freedom Caucus,” which Jordan helped to co-found. Areas they plan to target include Virginia’s 7th district, Iowa’s 1st district, and North Carolina’s 13th district. Currently, the districts in Virginia and Iowa are considered “toss-ups,” but FreedomWorks plans to keep canvassing.
When asked about the Ohio State scandal and what that might mean for Jordan’s campaign, Brandon said there were many people involved, including school leadership, who should have done better.
“When I look at this [Ohio State scandal] it seems very politically motivated. The timing is very odd to me. He’s not accused of a crime,” Brandon said.