He is the first Republican to officially say he will seek the leadership position, which will open after Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., retires in January.
Jordan’s entry is bad news for Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who is also expected to seek the post and has already won several key endorsements.
McCarthy failed in his previous attempt three years ago to become speaker because many in the Freedom Caucus questioned whether he was conservative enough. Many caucus members are likely to support Jordan, R-Ohio. Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, a caucus leader, said he “certainly” supports Jordan.
Even so, the likelihood is slim that Jordan will gain broad support from Republicans, many of whom are frustrated by the House Freedom Caucus’ demands of leadership.
McCarthy’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jordan, 54, has come under scrutiny in recent weeks amid allegations from some former wrestlers at Ohio State University that Jordan, while serving as an assistant coach there, was told about reports of sexual abuse by a team doctor but did not intervene.
Jordan has denied knowing anything about the abuse.
Meanwhile, Ryan on Thursday said he doesn’t support the effort to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein by a group of conservative Republicans, including Jordan, who filed articles of impeachment the previous night.
“Do I support impeachment of Rod Rosenstein? No, I do not,” Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters at his weekly news conference. “I don’t think this rises to high crimes and misdemeanors; that’s a very high standard.”
The move by the conservatives, some of President Donald Trump’s most loyal allies in the U.S. House, is based on what they consider months of stonewalling of congressional demands for documents and other material about the investigation of Russian election meddling and potential involvement by the president’s campaign.
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