COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The first vote for Speaker of the House came and went Tuesday with no new leader selected.
Representatives voted Tuesday, more than two weeks after Kevin McCarthy of California was forced out as speaker, a position second in line to the presidency.
The Republican nominee was Jim Jordan, 59, who since 2007 has represented Ohio’s Fourth District, which stretches into western Delaware County and includes several Columbus northern suburbs. He has been chairman of the House Judiciary Committee since January and one of the strongest allies of former President Donald Trump in the House.
Jordan did not win the position on the first vote. To win, he would need a majority of votes. He only received 200 votes during the first round, leaving him 17 short of the majority needed to win.
“The country and our conference cannot afford us attacking each other right now,” Jordan wrote Monday. “It is time we unite to get back to work on behalf of the American people.”
Since Jordan became the Republican nominee last week, he has been peeling off detractors who view him as too extreme. A major pressure campaign from Trump allies, including Fox News’ Sean Hannity, has helped quickly build support.
In a letter Monday to colleagues, Jordan took a cooperative tone vowing to “bring all Republicans together” if he becomes House speaker after the ouster of Kevin McCarthy.
Jordan is hardly an unblemished figure, with some questioning how he backed Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election after Joe Biden won and with others questioning how much he knew of sexual misconduct by team physician Richard Strauss when Jordan was an Ohio State assistant wrestling coach.
Jordan fell more than 50 votes short during internal party voting Friday. Majority Leader Steve Scalise, the party’s first nominee to replace McCarthy, also failed to unify the Republicans.
It could take multiple rounds during House floor voting as several Republicans still are refusing to back Jordan and with Democrats lined up behind Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York. With the House Republican majority narrowly held 221-212, Jordan can only afford to lose a few votes to reach the 217 majority threshold, if there are no absences.
Three previous representatives from Ohio have served as speakers: J. Warren Keifer of Springfield (1881-83), Nicolas Longworth of Cincinnati (1927-29) and John Boehner of Butler County (2013-15).