May 9, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Jim Jordan’s quiet power play for 2025

Photo: Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is making stealthy, aggressive moves to position himself to replace Speaker Mike Johnson as party leader in 2025.

Why it matters: Many GOP members doubt Johnson will keep the top job, whether or not the party holds the majority. Jordan is a top ally of former President Trump who would help keep the conference full-on MAGA.

  • Jordan privately told colleagues what he would be doing differently than Johnson during the recent fight over foreign aid funding, multiple sources told Axios.
  • The Ohio Republican has been noticed handing out more campaign checks to colleagues, multiple lawmakers told Axios.
  • 👀 One GOP lawmaker told Axios that Jordan previously said it was "not his job" to help vulnerable members. His shift has raised his peers' eyebrows.

Zoom in: Jordan is working to build relationships with moderate Republicans who would be a critical bloc of support.

  • Jordan has hit the trail for a bevy of Republicans in recent months, including vulnerable Republicans and top allies of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
  • 😎 The fundraising and campaigning for members outside his conservative bubble is a key olive branch from Jordan.
  • Cash helps court support from members, and many are still skeptical of Jordan's leadership bona fides.

What's next: Many of Jordan's fellow Republicans think he's angling for the minority leader position as a stepping-stone to another future speaker bid.

  • Jordan's speaker campaign fell flat last fall. 25 Republicans refused to vote for him on the House floor on his final ballot.
  • At the time, Jordan sparked fury from moderates who said he actively worked to undermine House Majority Leader Steve Scalise's (R-La.) own speaker bid.
  • Many of those defectors now think Jordan is undermining Johnson and are vowing to oppose him in future leadership races, sources told Axios.

Jordan spokesperson Russell Dye told Axios that his boss is "focused on the important work he is doing as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, growing the majority and supporting Mike Johnson as the leader of our conference."

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