All 6 of Arizona’s Republican House members vote for Jim Jordan on 1st ballot

Oct 17, 2023, 8:26 AM | Updated: 12:08 pm

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), right, talks with Rep. Any Biggs (R-Arizona...

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), right, talks with Rep. Any Biggs (R-Arizona) during a hearing July 13, 2023, in Washington, D.C. All of Arizona's Republican House members were expected to support Jordan in the speaker vote on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Rep. Jim Jordan had the full support of Arizona’s Republican delegation on the first ballot of voting for House speaker Tuesday.

All six of Arizona’s GOP House members voted for Jordan, as expected, but the Ohio Republican fell short of the 217 votes required to win the gavel.

Reps. David Schweikert and Juan Ciscomani said the morning of the vote they planned to back Jordan.

Reps. Andy Biggs, Eli Crane, Debbie Lesko and Paul Gosar previously expressed their support for the Ohio Republican. Crane and Biggs were among the eight Republicans who joined the Democratic caucus to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy from the speaker role earlier this month.

Jordan’s failure on the first ballot didn’t surprise Schweikert. He told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News before the voting started that the latest whip count showed Jordan coming up short.

What happens next after Jim Jordan fell short on first ballot?

Schweikert said he wasn’t sure if a second round of voting would be held Tuesday after 20 Republicans voted for somebody other than the GOP nominee. It took McCarthy 15 ballots to win the gavel in January.

“What’s going to happen now is Mr. Jordan and his immediate core are going to have to go talk to those 20 and see if any of them move. As we’ve learned, there’s no reason to come back to the floor and vote again if no one has changed,” Schweikert told KTAR’s The Mike Broomhead Show shortly after Tuesday’s first round of voting.

Schweikert noted that some Republicans who pledged to support Jordan in the first ballot said they might consider other options if additional votes were required.

Why are some Republicans against having Jordan as House speaker?

The holdout Republicans view Jordan, a co-founder of the right-flank Freedom Caucus, as too extreme for the powerful position of House speaker, second in line to the presidency.

Jordan swiftly flipped dozens of detractors in a matter of days since he was nominated Friday, shoring up reluctant Republicans who have few options left two weeks after McCarthy’s ouster. But enough holdouts remained Tuesday to keep him from being elected on the first ballot.

One holdout, Republican Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, said Jordan’s role in the runup to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and his refusal to admit President Joe Biden won the 2020 election remained an issue.

Jordan also faces questions about his past. Some years ago, Jordan denied allegations from former wrestlers during his time as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University who accused him of knowing about claims they were inappropriately groped by an Ohio doctor. Jordan has said he was never aware of any abuse.

What does David Schweikert think about Kevin McCarthy’s ouster?

Schweikert said he’s still “flabbergasted” that eight members of his caucus, including two from Arizona, voted to remove McCarthy.

“We were actually making progress in divided government,” he said. “We were actually doing fairly well.”

He said he hasn’t spoken with Biggs or Crane about their roles in ousting McCarthy.

“We have sort of an agreement, we don’t talk about it because they know I strongly disapproved with what they did,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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All 6 of Arizona’s Republican House members vote for Jim Jordan on 1st ballot