55 Things You Need to Know About Jim Jordan

Jim Jordan is a fighter.

That has been the Ohio Republican’s principal identity during his three decades in public office, the character trait that ties his early days as a collegiate wrestling champion to his more recent occupation as the House GOP’s favorite attack dog and a pugnacious defender of former President Donald Trump. To his allies, his pugnacity makes him a fitting leader for a fractured conference; to his detractors, it makes him a cynical bully and a serious threat to democracy.

Jordan’s combative nature is on display once again this week, as he fights — slowly, and so far unsuccessfully — toward the speaker’s gavel. On Tuesday morning, he lost a second ballot on the floor of the House, gaining even fewer votes than in the first round. But even if he ultimately falls short, it’s clear that Jordan captures something essential about the conservative zeitgeist: Victory does not require a unified party. In fact, for some, that’s the definition of losing. Regardless of whether Jordan manages to overcome the factionalism he helped create, you can be sure that he won’t be throwing in the towel anytime soon.

What do you need to know about the ultraconservative firebrand and possible future speaker of the House? Here, culled from media coverage, public remarks and his manifold appearances on Fox News, is the definitive primer on Jim Jordan.


Jim Jordan attended Graham High School in St. Paris, Ohio, where he became a star wrestler. He posted a 150-1 record during high school, winning four state championships. He says his one loss still haunts him.


He has never lost an election at the polls. His record is 14-0.


He has been nominated for speaker of the House twice. His record is 0-2.


James Daniel Jordan was born Feb. 17, 1964 in Troy, Ohio, about 19 miles north of Dayton.


His father, John, worked at a General Motors plant, and his mother, Shirley, ran a housecleaning business.


“I’m just a little country boy from western Ohio,” he often says.


Jordania credits his father — who coached his Little League Baseball and wrestling teams — with instilling in him a fierce sense of competitiveness and a commitment to conservative values.


As early as 2016, Jordan’s hardline conservative beliefs and hardball political tactics earned him a reputation as “the other speaker of the House."


Not everyone in his caucus considered that a compliment: “You have the tail wagging the dog, a small group of 40 people basically dictating to leadership: This is what we will or will not allow you to do,” one senior Republican allied with House GOP leadership told POLITICO. “It’s an inversion of political influence.”


The House Select Committee on Jan. 6 found that Jordan was “a significant player in President Trump’s efforts” to overturn the 2020 presidential election.


He is married to his high school sweetheart, Polly, whom he met through wrestling buddies when he was 13 and she was 14. They married in 1985 and have four children together.


As a wrestler at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he was a three-time All-American and a two-time NCAA Champion in the 134-pound weight class. One of his championship victories came over Oklahoma State’s John Smith, who went on to become a two-time Olympic champion.


Jordan graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He subsequently earned a master’s degree in education from Ohio State University and a J.D. from Capital University Law School in Columbus Ohio, though he never took the bar exam.


He won his first run for elected office, Ohio state representative in the 85th district, in 1994. “A good, hard campaign is about as close to wrestling as you can get,” he has said.


He became an Ohio state senator in 2000, defeating independent candidate Jack Kaffenberger with 88 percent of the vote.


In the 2006 midterm elections, Jordan withstood the historic blue wave that swept Democrats into control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 12 years to win Ohio’s 4th congressional district with 60 percent of the vote. The election was dominated by discussion of several messy corruption scandals involving high-profile congressional leaders, including former House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-Texas).


The first bill that Jordan introduced as a member of Congress — dubbed the “Clean Up Government Act” — sought to strengthen penalties for public corruption. It earned only three co-sponsors and failed to pass.


Since joining Congress, he has not passed a single bill into law. The Center for Effective Lawmaking ranks him one of the least effective lawmakers in the House Republican conference.


He joined with eight fellow conservatives in 2015 to found the House Freedom Caucus, dedicated to “support[ing] accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety and prosperity of all Americans,” according to its founding mission statement.


Nine months later, the new group of hardline conservatives led the push to oust Speaker John Boehner after he cut a deal with Democrats to avert a government shutdown.


Boehner dubbed him a “legislative terrorist”,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/10/29/john-boehner-trump-house-republican-party-retirement-profile-feature-215741/”,”_id”:”0000018b-4524-dc96-a9af-77acb82e0006″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”0000018b-4524-dc96-a9af-77acb82e0007″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>legislative terrorist” for his bare-knuckled political tactics.


He was a key architect of the 2013 government shutdown, part of an unsuccessful effort to block funding for the Affordable Care Act.


Tea Party Caucus Chair Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) voted for Jordan as speaker of the House in 2013 — the first time Jordan received any official votes for the position. He received two votes for speaker during the 114th Congress in 2015 — from Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) — but ultimately lost to Boehner.


As a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, he has supported Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.


He has appeared on Fox News more than any other sitting member of Congress — 565 times since August 2017 — making him the network’s most frequently interviewed member of Congress.


He has voted against additional U.S. military aid for Ukraine. “The most pressing issue in Americans’ minds is not Ukraine,” he told reporters in October. “It is the border situation and crime on the streets.”


He is the chair of the House Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on the Weaponization of Government, which is investigating the alleged misuse of government authority by the Justice Department, the FBI and other federal agencies.


In 2014, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame honored Jordan as a “Outstanding American.”


In 2018, Ohio State University launched an independent investigation into allegations that the wrestling team’s former doctor, Richard Strauss, had sexually abused members of the team between the mid-1970s and late 1990s. Several former team members alleged that Jordan, an assistant coach from 1987-95, was aware of Strauss’ conduct and other instances of sexual abuse within the OSU athletic department yet failed to intervene.


Under intense pressure to address the allegations, Jordan denied any knowledge of the abuse, which an independent investigation found involved at least 177 former students — though likely many more — across nearly two decades. In May 2020, OSU agreed to pay $40.9 million to the survivors of Strauss’ abuse.


Jordan’s Republican allies dismissed the OSU abuse scandal as a plot by “the deep state."


Según un New York Times”,”_id”:”0000018b-4503-d05a-a19b-dd9749770000″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>report by the El New York Times, Jordan contacted the elderly parents of Mark Coleman, a former OSU wrestler who had suggested that Jordan knew about Strauss’ behavior, in an effort to pressure Coleman into retracting his statement. “Unless he has Alzheimer’s, Jim Jordan knew,” Coleman told the Times.


He is an evangelical Christian.


Según his financial disclosure forms, Jordan is not particularly wealthy, with most of his income coming from his congressional salary.


He lives with his wife, Polly, on a 8.5-acre property in Ohio’s Champaign Valley.


He does his own yard work.


He is known for not wearing a jacket around the Capitol. “You can’t really get fired up and get into it if you’ve got some jacket slowing you down,” he has said.


His wife home-schooled the couple’s four children and later worked as an art teacher in a local public school. A painting that she did of their property hangs above Jordan’s desk in Washington.


In 2015, he co-sponsored the “Marriage Protection Amendment,” a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would legally define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The bill never advanced out of committee.


Jordan helped tank Kevin McCarthy’s bid for speaker in October 2015 when many in the Freedom Caucus withdrew their support.


He voted for McCarthy as speaker in January 2023 after he got McCarthy to commit to extra funding for the Weaponization panel.


Jordan’s congressional district was ruled an unconstitutional gerrymander by a panel of three federal judges in May 2019. The decision was overturned as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court landmark’s ruling in Rucho v. Common Cause”,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://www.oyez.org/cases/2018/18-422″,”_id”:”0000018b-4524-dc96-a9af-77acb8310000″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”0000018b-4524-dc96-a9af-77acb8310001″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Rucho v. Common Cause, which determined that claims of partisan gerrymandering constituted non-justiciable political questions.


Together with Matt Gaetz, Ron DeSantis and Mark Meadows, Jordan was one of “Trump’s warriors” who led the GOP’s efforts to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.


As a last-minute appointment to the House Intelligence Committee, he was a fierce defender of Trump during the House’s first impeachment inquiry into the 45th president. “Jim Jordan has been on the front lines in the fight for fairness and truth,” said then-House Minority Leader McCarthy when he appointed Jordan to the committee, just days before its televised impeachment hearings were set to begin. “His addition will ensure more accountability and transparency in this sham process.”


In October 2019, Jordan was among the two-dozen Republicans who stormed a secure facility inside the Capitol where investigators were deposing witnesses as part of the House’s impeachment investigation into Trump. The group was eventually dispersed by the House sergeant-at-arms.


“I look at it like a wrestling match,” Jordan has said of his preparation for committee hearings, where he has earned a reputation for his pugnacious questioning of witnesses. “I’m going to try to get as ready as I can. You can’t just wing it.”


Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in January 2021 for his “[efforts] to confront the impeachment witch hunt,” among other achievements.


Jordan was one of 126 House Republicans to sign an amicus brief in support of a long-shot lawsuit attempting to overturn the 2020 election. The lawsuit was later dismissed by the Supreme Court. Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Republican lawmakers’ decision to sign the amicus brief an act of “election subversion” and an attempt to “undermine public trust in our sacred democratic institutions.”


“Something doesn’t feel right here,” Jordan said during an appearance en Hannity shortly after the 2020 election. “Our president got 9 million more votes this time than he did four years ago, and yet he comes up short. Even though we gained seats in the House of Representatives.”


On Jan. 12, 2021, he said, “I’ve never said that this election was stolen.”


According to the Jan. 6 Committee report, Jordan led a conference call with Trump and other members of Congress on Jan. 2, 2021, to discuss strategies for delaying the certification of Electoral College votes in Congress on Jan. 6. The participants in the call also discussed posting on social media to encourage Trump supporters to “march to the Capitol."


On Jan. 5, 2023, he texted Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to say that Vice President Mike Pence should “call out all the electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.”


Jordan voted against certifying Biden’s victory on Jan. 6.


The Jan. 6 committee subpoenaed him on May 11, 2022, seeking information related to its investigation. Jordan did not comply with the subpoena and failed to appear for a scheduled deposition.


“He will be a GREAT Speaker of the House, & has my Complete and Total Endorsement!” Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social on Oct. 6.

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