FreedomWorks pledges to spend half a million dollars to elect Jordan as Speaker

Greg Nash

Conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks on Thursday pledged to spend at least half a million dollars on a campaign to elect Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) as House Speaker.

The group made the announcement shortly after Jordan officially announced his bid for the gavel on Thursday. 

{mosads}”FreedomWorks, along with conservatives across the country today, applaud Rep. Jordan’s announcement that he will run for Speaker,” FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon said. “Jordan will ensure that House Republicans finally make good on the promises they have made for years on the campaign trail — to balance the budget and hold bureaucratic agencies accountable.” 

FreedomWorks launched a grass-roots campaign to rile up support for Jordan’s bid in April, months before his announcement. Over the past few months, Brandon claimed, FreedomWorks volunteers have “sent more than 75,000 phone calls, tweets, and letters to their representatives” in support of Jordan’s run for Speaker.

The Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund and Senate Conservatives Fund also both announced their endorsement of Jordan on Thursday. The Tea Party Patriots raises money on behalf of the grass-roots Tea Party movement, while the Senate Conservatives Fund aims to boost conservative GOP candidates.

“We are confident that Rep. Jordan will lead Congress to work with President Trump to do what Republicans have promised to do — repeal ObamaCare fully, build a wall along the southern border to reduce illegal immigration, stop borrowing money and running up the national debt, and cut taxes and regulations to sustain our current economic revival,” Tea Party Patriots Citizen’s Fund Chairman Jenny Beth Martin said in a statement.

The Senate Conservatives followed their support of Jordan with a denouncement of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

“Kevin McCarthy is not a conservative,” Senate Conservatives Action President Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement. “McCarthy as speaker would be more of the same old tired approach of giving into Democrats and failing to lead.”

Jordan is a co-founder of the conservative voting bloc the House Freedom Caucus, a 30-member group whose vote is necessary to electing any future Speaker of the House. Though Jordan’s bid is a long shot, it could mean that other candidates have to work harder to curry favor with the caucus. 

In recent weeks, Jordan’s ambitions for Speaker have been hampered by allegations from former wrestlers at Ohio State University (OSU) claiming that Jordan turned a blind eye to reports of sexual abuse when he was an assistant coach at the school.

Former wrestlers have accused Dr. Richard Strauss, the OSU wrestling team doctor from the mid-1970s to 1990s, of sexually assaulting them during his tenure with the team. Jordan, who was OSU’s assistant wrestling coach from 1986 to 1994, has said multiple times he was not aware of the abuse until players began speaking publicly about it earlier this year. 

Former wrestlers allege that Jordan engaged in conversations about Strauss’s behavior with members of the team, even saying once, “If he tried that with me, I would kill him.” One former wrestler has claimed that he brought his concerns about Strauss to Jordan, who did nothing. 

GOP lawmakers have come out in support of Jordan, including the conservative House Freedom Caucus, of which Jordan was the founding chairman.

Other former wrestlers and OSU coaches have also stated on the record that they do not believe Jordan knew about the abuse. 

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) today said he believes the allegations against Jordan will be a “non-factor” in his run for Speaker.  

Current Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday said he would not support Jordan as his replacement.

“I’m not going to be here,” he said. “I support Kevin McCarthy. Everybody knows that.”

McCarthy, who failed to garner the required votes to become Speaker in 2015, is reportedly also eyeing a bid. 

In his letter asking for support from his colleagues, Jordan wrote that he hopes the Republican Party will focus on repealing the Affordable Care Act and eliminating government funding for Planned Parenthood. 

“President Trump has taken bold action on behalf of the American people,” Jordan wrote in the “Dear Colleague” letter released exclusively to The Hill. “Congress has not held up its end of the deal, but we can change that.”

Tags Donald Trump Jim Jordan Kevin McCarthy Mark Meadows Paul Ryan
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