WASHINGTON — Fellow conservative lawmakers are now turning up the heat on Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the former chairman of the Republican Study Committee, to throw his hat into the ring for House majority leader.
The move comes as two current members of the GOP leadership — California Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Texas Rep. Pete Sessions — are already whipping support for themselves.
“I am hopeful that Jim Jordan will reconsider and understand, as I believe, he is called by history to stand up to this,” Iowa Rep. Steve King told The Daily Caller in an interview on Thursday.
Conservatives have been pushing Jordan to enter the race over the last few days, according to sources, but he has been reluctant to pull a trigger on a run.
“I don’t know that there is a better available candidate than Jim Jordan,” King said. “He is a full spectrum, constitutional conservative, fiscal and social.”
Laying out the pro-Jordan argument, King said: “He commands the respect of the whole conference; he’d be an ideal candidate for majority leader; he’s never advocated for amnesty.”
The Daily Caller has requested an interview with Jordan.
Conservatives are scrambling to find someone to run after Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling announced Thursday that he will not enter the contest.
“We were hopeful that Jeb would enter into the race,” King acknowledged in the interview. “I think he would’ve had the full support of the conservatives in the conference. Most of them, if not all the conservatives, in the conference. And we regret that he decided not to enter that race.”
After his surprising lost in his Republican primary on Tuesday night, Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor announced on Wednesday afternoon that he plans to step down as majority leader next month though will serve out the rest of his congressional term.
Speaker of the House John Boehner said the elections to replace Cantor will take place next Thursday — something conservatives like King are arguing is an unfair advantage to McCarthy and Sessions.