In April 2018, Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced he would not be seeking re-election. Ohio Republican Representative Jim Jordan has become the first House member to officially announce his plan to run for Speaker of the House. Rep. Jordan has gained prominence as a leader in the House Freedom Caucus, a group within the House dedicated to advancing conservative principles. Here is all you need to know about Jordan and the race:

The announcement

Jordan penned a letter to House members announcing his candidacy this week. In this letter, Jordan praised President Trump’s “bold, decisive” actions for revitalizing the American economy. Jordan also outlined his top legislative priorities and called upon members of Congress to focus on those policy issues during the August recess to mobilize support for the party. Jordan claims once these policy priorities are met, Republicans have a real chance of maintaining control of the House in the midterms. These issues include:

  • Repealing Obamacare

  • Passing across-the-board welfare reform that requires able-bodied adults to work in order to get benefits.

  • Building a border security wall and reforming our broken immigration system, making it fairer for highly skilled people who want to come here legally.

  • Making the 2017 tax cuts permanent to spur economic growth.

  • Ending taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood.

  • Enacting  immediate spending cuts to ensure we never see $1 trillion in deficits.

Once these issues are addressed and the House majority is maintained then, as Jordan explains, he will plan to run for Speaker of the House.

On the issues

As demonstrated from the letter mentioned above, Jordan is a strong defender of President Trump, border security, fiscal responsibility, and welfare reform.

FreedomWorks gave Jordan a 97 percent legislative score for the current congressional term, Jordan’s notable conservative votes include support for right to try legislation allowing terminally ill patients to try experimental medical procedures, support for a resolution denouncing the use of a Carbon Tax, and support for the Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act. Jordan missed the 100 percent ranking for voting in favor of additional fame subsidies.

The Conservative Review gave Jordan a 96 percent and the American Energy Alliance gave Jordan a 97 percent. Meanwhile, Jordan received a 0 percent failing score from the Planned Parenthood congressional scorecard.

Possible opponents

While Jordan is the first to officially announce his plan to run for Speaker of the House, the race certainly already has others vying for the spot. California Republican Kevin McCarthy ran for Speaker following the resignation of Speaker John Boehner in 2014 and when recently asked about who he believed should replace Ryan, McCarthy noted “I want it to be me.” This seemingly indicates his intention to run for the spot once again.

McCarthy’s own statements are not the only indication of his possible Speakership. Current Speaker Paul Ryan himself threw his support behind McCarthy early. In April, Ryan told reporters he believed McCarthy was the “right person” and predicted a “seamless transition.” 

Meanwhile, Representative Steve Scalise (R-La.) has also considered a run but on the grounds that McCarthy is unable to secure a majority vote, until then he has pushed support behind McCarthy. Scalise currently holds the third ranking position in the House as majority whip, but Scalise rose to public prominence last year after sustaining injuries during a shooting at a congressional baseball game practice.

Representative Jim Jordan appears to be the conservative pick for Speaker of the House, but in order for that to come to fruition, Republicans must first win the House. With Representatives McCarthy and Scalise gaining support as well, this will undoubtedly be a tight race. While midterms might seem like the biggest battle ahead it is clear another political matchup will be looming in the background.