In past elections, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones’ endorsement has been courted by presidential, gubernatorial, congressional and local candidates. The sheriff was an early supporter of President Donald Trump, and made appearances for then-candidate Trump during his Cincinnati campaign stops in 2016. Jones also supported Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine during the May 2018 gubernatorial primary.
FIRST REPORT: Rep. Jim Jordan: ‘I plan to run for speaker’
But with an Ohio Congressman’s declaration that he intends to run for U.S. House of Representatives speaker in 2019 — should Republicans retain the federal legislature’s lower chamber — the four-term county sheriff says, “I don’t know who I’m going to support for speaker.”
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is also expected to seek the post and has already won several key endorsements. Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., is also a possible contender.
Jones, a national voice on immigration issues, said “he doesn’t like none of them,” referring to politicians in Washington, D.C., but said he would “be willing to sit down and talk with (Jordan).”
Jordan, a Republican from Urbana, is a political ally of Trump.
Jordan told this news outlet last month: “President Trump has taken bold action on behalf of the American people. Congress has not held up its end of the deal, but we can change that. It’s time to do what we said.”
Jordan, 54, is a founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which has roughly 30 members among the chamber’s current 236 Republicans.
Jones said he will be glad when incumbent Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., retires in January.
“The guy that’s in there now, he’s useless,” Jones said of Ryan. “I’m glad he is quitting and getting out of there totally. I’d wish he’d take about 50 more of them.”
He said people around Butler County and country “are fed up with all of them.”
“The Republicans, the Democrats. They’re fed up with all of them,” he said. “They seem to just want to do what’s best for them, and to keep everything stable where they’re at. They get their nice offices, they make a home, they don’t want to work on weekends. And the Republicans seem to be the worst.”
Jordan is largely credited with pushing former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner to retire from Congress in 2015.
Congressman Warren Davidson, R-Troy, who won the election to replace Boehner, supports Jordan’s House speaker bid.
Jordan’s decision to seek the speakership follows allegations from at least five former wrestlers who have accused him of failing to report sexual misconduct when he served as an Ohio State University assistant wrestling coach from 1986 to 1994. Jordan was interviewed recently by lawyers investigating the allegations that a now-dead team doctor sexually abused male athletes. Jordan has denied the allegations, which he said are politically motivated.
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