Key voice backs Jordan in Oversight race

Key voice backs Jordan in Oversight race
© Greg Nash

The Wall Street Journal editorial board said it’s backing conservative Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanTwitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates Trump adviser presses House investigators to make Bezos testify Booker, Merkley propose federal facial recognition moratorium MORE (R-Ohio) to succeed Rep. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaDesperate in Southern California: Darrell Issa's 'back to the future' primary campaign misfires Duncan Hunter to plead guilty to campaign finance violations Why the GOP march of mad hatters poses a threat to our Democracy MORE (R-Calif.) as Oversight Committee chairman.

The endorsement was a bit of a surprise given that two other candidates on the panel — Reps. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzThe myth of the conservative bestseller Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 House Oversight panel demands DeVos turn over personal email records MORE (R-Utah) and Michael Turner (R-Ohio) — are viewed as front-runners in the race for the Oversight and Government Reform Committee gavel.

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Former Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) is also running but is seen as a long shot. Issa is stepping down from his role as the Republicans’ top watchdog and President Obama’s chief antagonizer due to term limits.

“In a crowded field, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is the candidate best equipped to conduct thorough and credible investigations of federal waste, fraud and abuse,” the newspaper’s conservative editorial board wrote over the weekend.

The Journal said Jordan has demonstrated he’d continue Issa’s efforts to investigate abuses by the IRS. And the paper praised Jordan’s probe into the Energy Department’s loan-guarantee program that propped up failed solar manufacturer Solyndra.

Jordan also would work hand-in-hand with the likely incoming GOP chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Reform Committee, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

Both Chaffetz and Turner have been campaigning for the job by showing GOP leaders and fellow members how they would take the panel in a new, more bipartisan direction, though Chaffetz has kept the heat on the Obama administration for it’s handling of the Ebola crisis.

“Mr. Jordan seems to be trailing potential Capitol Hill rivals in the area of self-promotion. But we’ve been struck this week by the number of principled conservatives who regard him as the key to effective oversight of the Beltway bureaucracy,” the newspaper wrote. 

“Speaker John Boehner and other members of the elected GOP House leadership should elevate Mr. Jordan and send a clear message of reform and accountability.”

A spokeswoman for Chaffetz declined to comment on the editorial, saying her boss was staying focused on the race. A Turner spokeswoman did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The House GOP’s Steering Committee, a highly selective group comprised of Boehner (R-Ohio), his leadership team and other senior Republicans, meets early next week to pick the next chairmen of the Oversight and other committees.

The entire GOP conference will vote to ratify those selections on Nov. 19.

While they are fellow Ohioans, Boehner and Jordan have often clashed, particularly when Jordan served as chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee.