LIMA — U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan’s Democratic challenger Janet Garrett will have a chance to debate the Republican incumbent sometime before November’s election, but the dates and times have yet to be solidified.
Garrett’s campaign contacted Jordan’s earlier this week and suggested a series of debates throughout the district — including a stop in Lima. Jordan’s Chief of Staff Kevin Eichinger said Jordan’s campaign was receptive to the idea, but Garrett’s suggested dates will need to be reconsidered.
“We got their request and do plan to debate, just like we always have, at places hosted by local entities,” Eichinger responded in an email. “The dates they requested mostly fall on days when Congress is in session however so we will have to work around those.”
Other suggested stops include Urbana, Marion, Fremont and Elyria.
“These are just suggested dates to get the discussion started,“ Garrett’s campaign manager Zach Stepp said. “We’re happy to work with the Jordan folks and local press outlets to find dates and times that work for everybody.”
Jordan was first elected as representative for Ohio’s 4th Congressional District in 2006. Garrett, a retired school teacher, has challenged him twice before in 2014 and 2016. In both cases, Garrett lost to Jordan by at least a 35-point spread.
This year, Garrett said she has reworked her campaign, gaining the support of campaign strategist Joe Trippi.
Outside of the district, Jordan remains a controversial figure due to his association with the ultraconservative Freedom Caucus, his aggressive questioning of those conducting the investigation into Russia’s election interference and allegations made by former Ohio State wrestlers that Jordan ignored reports of multiple gropings by the team’s doctor during Jordan’s time at the university.
Garrett said such controversies have boosted her campaign coffers, pushing her 2018 fundraising past earlier attempts.
Jordan again made national news earlier this month when he announced a bid for the Speaker of the House following Paul Ryan’s retirement. A winning Garrett campaign, however, could undercut the attempt.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.