COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Former colleagues, friends and state lawmakers are weighing in on Congressman Jim Jordan’s (R-Ohio) bid for Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Rep. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) said he has known Jordan for over 40 years.
“He’s a good fighter, he’s a leader, he’ll take care of us,” Plummer said. “He’s a good, solid conservative.”
Before Congress, Jordan was elected to the Ohio Statehouse in 1995. He served three terms in the House before being elected to the Ohio Senate. Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) was elected to the Ohio Statehouse, in different chambers, at the same time as Jordan.
“He was very unafraid to be the one lone ‘no’ vote, if need be,” Seitz said. “That’s just what he was like back then.”
Seitz said, among other things, Jordan was firmly against the expansion of gambling in Ohio and fought against tax increases during his time here.
“Whether he would be capable of unifying the entire Republican caucus [in the U.S. House], I don’t know,” Seitz said. “But he’s a good guy, strongly principled human being.”
But lawmakers like Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) said even though Jordan is from Ohio, he is not a good pick for U.S. House Speaker.
“His main goal, in my mind, seems to be to burn it all down,” Weinstein said. “And what I think most Ohioans are looking for is bipartisan governing and stability and folks willing to work across the aisle. And he has never been that person.”
Weinstein said he thinks Jordan will not effectively be able to advocate for the will of all Ohioans.
“The guy speaks to the right-wing base, that’s the only audience he has ever reached out to,” he said. “He doesn’t have a good sense of what Ohioans want, he hasn’t delivered for us in the past, he’s been an extremist that has aligned himself with the furthest right in his party.”
Sen. Mark Romanchuk’s (R-Ontario) take on Jordan is different.
“If he says he is going to do something, he is going to do it as far as the job will allow him,” Romanchuk said. “He is a man of his word.”
But Weinstein said Jordan’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on Congress cannot be overlooked.
“He participated in an attempt to overthrow our democracy and our elections,” Weinstein said. “I think that needs to be said over and over again. He’s not a stand-up guy.”
Weinstein also points out that since being elected to Congress for the first time about 16 years ago, Jordan has failed to pass any legislation he has proposed.
“I think that’s very telling,” Weinstein said.
“That’s not the entire job,” Romanchuk said. “So, another part of being a legislator is oversight and he [Jordan] is absolutely the best I have ever seen with regard to providing oversight to the executive branch.”
Romanchuk both knows Jordan personally and is represented by him in Congress; he and Plummer agree a U.S. Speaker from Ohio will be a bonus for the state.
“To have the seat as Speaker, it is going to do better things for Ohio,” Plummer said. “He’s a very faithful person, loves his family and loves his country even more.”
“When they’re putting together appropriation bills and policy, he’ll have an Ohio perspective and I think that’s important,” Romanchuk said. “He brings Ohio values to the discussion, he brings a Midwest perspective and I think if you live in the Midwest, that’s kind of important.”
And Romanchuk said while he will continue to support Jordan for Speaker, Ohioans should not worry if he does not end up in the position.
“If it’s not somebody from Ohio, it doesn’t mean we should throw up our hands and go home,” Romanchuk said. “It just means we will be working with someone outside of Ohio.”
Whoever is nominated will need 217 votes to win the gavel. The next vote is scheduled for Wednesday at 11 a.m.