Jim Jordan, the Republican congressman from Ohio and a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, lost his bid to become the House speaker on Tuesday, October 17, 2023. He was defeated by the incumbent speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who secured 218 votes to Jordan’s 212.
Jordan had been nominated by the House Republican Conference last week as their speaker candidate, after the previous nominee, Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana, dropped out of the race when he realized he did not have enough support from his own party. Jordan had also received the endorsement of Trump, who called him “a great leader and a fighter” in a statement.
However, Jordan faced opposition from some moderate Republicans who were unhappy with his role in promoting Trump’s false claims of election fraud and his involvement in the January 6 insurrection. The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot had requested to interview Jordan as a “material witness” because he had communicated with Trump on that day. Jordan refused to cooperate with the committee and accused it of spreading misinformation.
Jordan also faced criticism from some conservatives who questioned his conservative credentials and his ability to unify the party. Some of his former colleagues accused him of being a “bully” and a “liar” who had failed to protect student-athletes from sexual abuse when he was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University in the 1980s and 1990s.
Jordan’s defeat is a blow to Trump’s influence over the Republican Party and his hopes of regaining power in 2024. It also shows that Pelosi still commands a strong majority in the House despite losing some seats in the 2022 midterm elections. Pelosi, who has been the speaker since 2019 and previously from 2007 to 2011, is the first woman and the first person since Sam Rayburn to hold the position four times.