WASHINGTON — More than 100 tea party leaders have sent an open letter to Rep. Jim Jordan urging him to immediately declare himself a candidate for U.S. House speaker.
“You must take the lead,” read the letter, signed by tea party and ultra-conservative leaders including Ed Meese, who was attorney general for President Ronald Reagan; Jenny Beth Martin, the chairman of the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund; and Eunie Smith, president of the Eagle Forum, among others.
They argued that Jordan has demonstrated “an unwavering commitment to our constitutional liberties and conservative principles of free market economics, budgetary discipline, traditional values and a strong national defense.”
“You have worked to drain the swamp, not fill it further,” they wrote, saying Jordan must “immediately” announce he is running for speaker, and that the present House Republican leadership — a group that includes House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — “has proven that it’s part of ‘the Swamp.’”
Ryan announced earlier this year that he would retire from Congress at the end of this year, creating the possibility of a speaker race should the Republicans keep the House majority in November. Ryan has endorsed McCarthy, a California Republican. But Jordan, an Urbana Republican, has acknowledged he is also considering a run. Because Ryan has not formally stepped down, such a race would have to occur after the November midterm elections.
But the tea party group argued that regardless of Ryan’s timing for stepping down, the speaker’s race is already underway “in back rooms, behind closed doors, and aimed at preserving the Swamp and making it bigger.”
“It is imperative for the sake of the country we love and our God-given freedoms that the American people be offered another choice,” the group wrote.