James Daniel "Jim" Jordan has represented Ohio's 4th congressional district, in the northern central portion of the state, since 2007.
Jordan received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. While in college Jordan was a two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion. He later earned a master's degree in education from Ohio State University, and a law degree from Capital University. Jordan worked as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University after graduating from college.
In 1994, Jordan was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives, where he served for six years. Jordan ran for and won a seat in the Ohio Senate in 2000, serving there for six years as well. In 2006, with longtime incumbent congressman Mike Oxley (R-OH) retiring from his seat, Jordan announced his candidacy for Congress. Jordan handily won the republican primary as well as the general election.
Jordan chaired the Republican Study Committee in the 112th Congress and has been seen as one of the last conservative chairmans of the group. As chairman of the RSC Jordan led many battles against establishment republicans and GOP leadership. In 2011, Jordan kept his group firmly opposed to Speaker Boehner’s $4 trillion grand bargain that would have raised taxes with President Obama, forcing leadership to scrap the plan. Then in 2012, Jordan pushed hard against another Boehner deal, this one crafted to preserve Bush tax rates only for incomes of less than $1 million, saying "We're the party that says you shouldn't raise taxes." Jordan helped leave the Cut, Cap, and Balance effort in the fall of 2011 that forced Republican leadership to extract concessions from Democrats and brought about real spending cuts.
Rank and file members see Jordan as the unofficial leader of conservatives. As such Republican Leadership frequently targets him for buy in to legislative deals to receive his blessing for conservative support. For example, In the opening weeks of 2013, Jordan worked with republican leadership to hammer out a list of joint objectives that became known as the "Williamsburg Accord." The accord was a conservative wish list but also pledged the support of conservatives on a wider array of establishment goals, effectively promising the fidelity and trust of the conservative movement, albeit hesitantly. In short, it was a peace accord. (National Journal)
But by the fall, leadership had burned through their goodwill going back on the agreement numerous times by always promising the next fight was the one where Republicans would make their stand. As history has proven out, those stands never occurred. Despite being betrayed by Republican Leadership Jordan still decided to support John Boehner (R-OH) for Speaker in 2015 (as he did in 2013). With the Republican Study Committee being co-opted by Republican Leadership, Jordan banded together with other conservatives within the first few weeks of the 114th Congress and Jordan was once again leading a conservative coalition, the House Freedom Caucus. Jordan was quickly and unanimously selected as the group’s first chairman.
Jordan is routinely referenced as a Representative that could replace John Boehner as speaker, but Jordan has repeatedly said that he does not want the job.
Jordan is one of the few leaders House conservatives have and while sometimes a bad decision can lead an entire group of conservatives astray, Jordan’s steadfast conservatism is the antidote so desperately needed in a body where even Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is colloquially referred to as “conservative.” As such Jordan plays and outsized role for a Representative that is not in an official leadership position. Arguably there has not been a more instrumental conservative in the House of Representatives that is willing to stand up for conservative principles.
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