House Freedom Caucus co-founder Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) officially announced on Thursday his bid to replace Paul Ryan as speaker of the House.
“Should the American people entrust us with the majority again in the 116th Congress, I plan to run for Speaker of the House to bring real change to the House of Representatives,” Jordan said in a statement announcing his run.
Jordan’s announcement, first reported by the Daily Caller, is sure to spark a contentious battle between centrist Republicans lining up behind Representative Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) and the hardline conservatives who comprise the Freedom Caucus.
McCarthy, a staunch Trump ally who successfully shepherded the massive GOP tax-reform bill through Congress last fall, enjoys Ryan’s support, as the speaker confirmed when asked about Jordan’s bid Thursday. Representative Steve Scalise (R., La.) has also been rumored to be amassing support for a speakership run, though he has not yet confirmed his candidacy.
The announcement comes one day after Jordan joined ten fellow House Republicans in filing articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in retaliation for his lack of responsiveness to congressional document subpoenas.
Jordan has been plagued in recent weeks by allegations that he ignored the widely known sexual abuse of athletes by a team doctor during his time as an Ohio State wrestling coach. Jordan has denied that he was aware of the abuse.