Liberal group thrusts Jim Jordan’s speaker bid into Ohio special election

August 2, 2018

Democrats are looking to flip the script on Republicans by calling on the GOP candidate in an Ohio special election to say whether he would support Rep. Jim Jordan’s bid to become the next speaker of the House.

For years, Republicans have pressed Democrats on whether they support Rep. Nancy Pelosi as leader of their House caucus, including in the special election race in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, where Republican Troy Balderson has tried to link Democrat Danny O’Connor to Mrs. Pelosi.

Democrats see an opportunity to turn the tables now that Mr. Jordan is campaigning to replace retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan amid reports that he turned a blind eye to allegations of sexual misconduct while a wrestling coach at Ohio State University.

American Bridge released a digital ad Thursday warning that Mr. Balderson “is hiding something from voters.”

“He is refusing to say if he’ll back Jim Jordan for speaker of the House,” the narrator says in the ad, which will run on Facebook through Tuesday’s election.

“Does Troy Balderson stand with the victims or with Jim Jordan?” the narrator says.

Other Democratic candidates, including Katie Porter in California’s 45th Congressional District and Liz Watson in Indiana’s 9th Congressional District, have also demanded their GOP rivals take a position on Mr. Jordan’s candidacy.

Conservatives, meanwhile, have rallied behind Mr. Jordan, who has vehemently denied the accusations leveled against him from some of his former wrestlers at Ohio State.

More than a dozen former wrestlers also have defended Mr. Jordan.

The special race in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District is tight. A Monmouth University poll released Wednesday showed Mr. Balderson and Mr. O’Connor are running neck and neck.

On Saturday, President Trump plans to stump with Mr. Balderson, who narrowly defeated Melanie Leneghan in the special Republican primary race.

Mr. Jordan endorsed Ms. Leneghan in that race. Ms. Leneghan has since filed a complaint with the Ohio Supreme Court accusing election officials of voter fraud.

Update hourly