Jim Jordan falls short a second time in his bid for House speaker

He lost the support of one Georgia Republican

WASHINGTON — Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan lost his second vote for U.S. House speaker Wednesday, garnering less support than he received the day before.

Georgia Rep. Drew Ferguson was among the Republicans who flipped to supporting somebody else in Wednesday’s second round of voting.

Ferguson and every other member of Georgia’s GOP delegation were among the 200 Republicans who supported Jordan during Tuesday’s initial vote. But with 20 Republicans refusing to back him then, he failed to win the 217 majority needed to become speaker.

During Wednesday’s second round, Ferguson and three other Republicans switched to other candidates. Meanwhile, two GOP members who voted against Jordan on Tuesday decided to back him and one Jordan supporter was absent Tuesday. That represented a net loss of one vote.

Ferguson, who lives in The Rock, voted in favor of Majority Leader Steve Scalise. He did not say why he switched his vote.

Rep. Austin Scott, who ran against Jordan for speaker but lost in a Republican-only vote Friday, has continued to back him on the House floor. Scott, R-Tifton, said if Jordan tries a third time, he will support him.

“It’s up to him,” Scott said. “I assume that they’ll continue to work the phones and try to get some more support and have another vote on the floor.”

Meanwhile, the state’s five Democrats voted with everyone in their party to back their leader, New York’s Hakeem Jeffries, for speaker. Democrats are in the minority in the U.S. House so they don’t have enough votes to elect a speaker.

GOP opposition to Jordan appears to fall into two camps. The first contains Republicans from swing districts and some veteran lawmakers who are uncomfortable with the next speaker coming from the far-right and having a reputation for being an agitator. In the second camp are those less concerned with his record and more critical of his actions since Kevin McCarthy was removed as speaker on Oct. 3.

On that day, eight Republicans voted with Democrats to remove McCarthy A majority of Republicans voted to nominate Scalise as the successor, but he abandoned his bid after it became clear he could not get 217 Republicans to back him.

Some Republicans don’t think the small minority responsible for McCarthy’s ouster, and those who blocked Scalise from replacing him, should be rewarded by allowing their preferred candidate, Jordan, to get the job.

Jordan arrived in Congress in 2007 as a conservative firebrand who founded the House Freedom Caucus, in part to be a thorn in the side of GOP leadership. Over the years, he has risen through the ranks and toned down his rhetoric. But he remains a darling of the far right, and his speakership bid has been vigorously backed by conservative activists and media and Republicans aligned with former President Donald Trump.

Jordan has faced criticism for voting to overturn the 2020 election and spreading Trump’s falsehoods about his loss to Joe Biden.

More recently, Jordan voted against stopgap funding to avoid a government shutdown, and he has questioned continued support for Ukraine in its efforts to fight off the Russian invasion.

After his defeat Tuesday, Jordan spent the evening in meetings with hopes of flipping enough of his critics to get a majority vote in a new round of balloting. With just a four-seat majority, only a small number of defections can derail a GOP candidate.


Jim Jordan, R-Ohio

U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, R-Augusta

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler

U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Athens

U.S. Rep. Mike Collins, R-Jackson

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome

U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville

U.S. Rep. Rich McCormick, R-Suwanee

U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton

Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana

U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-The Rock

Hakeem Jeffries, D-New York

U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia

U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Marietta

U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta

U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams, D-Atlanta