Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) could lose his House seat through redistricting for opposing Speaker of the House John Boehner's (R-Ohio) bill to raise the debt ceiling.
Two Ohio state lawmakers spoke anonymously to The Columbus Dispatch on Thursday. “Jim Jordan's boneheadedness has kind of informed everybody's thinking,” one source said.
Every 10 years, after the census, seats in the House of Representatives are reapportioned according to population shifts. States that lose population, or that don't grow as fast as other states, will lose seats while states that have grown much in population will gain seats.
Since Ohio lost population since the 2000 census, it lost two House seats in the reapportionment process after the 2010 census. Now, each state government must redistrict, or redraw the boundaries of House districts, based upon the new census data.
The Ohio state legislature, controlled by Republicans, must redraw the district lines of its congressional delegation such that two of its incumbents no longer have their own district. This means that, assuming no retirements, there will be two races in which two incumbents are running for the same seat.
Ohio Republican lawmakers had an easy choice for one of those seats. They will combine the districts of Democrats Dennis Kucinich and Marica Fudge. For the second district, however, a Republican will have to lose a seat. Deciding which Republican would suffer the loss presents a dilemma for Ohio Republican leaders. Jordan's decision to oppose his party leadership made their decision easier.
“He doesn't know it, but he solved a problem for Republican line-drawers by (figuratively) standing up and saying, 'I'm a jerk and I deserve to be punished,'” an anonymous source in the Ohio legislature told The Columbus Dispatch.
After The Columbus Dispatch printed the news, Boehner quickly distanced himself from the controversy.
“Jim Jordan and I may not always agree on strategy, but we are friends and allies, and the word retribution is not in my vocabulary. I look forward to continuing to serve with him in the U.S. House after the redistricting process in Ohio is complete,” Boehner said in a press conference with Jordan at his side.
A spokesperson for Jordan responded to the news by saying, “We would hope that standing strong in favor of lowering spending and balancing the federal budget would not be a reason to eliminate the district of a sitting member of Congress.”
Ohio House Rep. Andy Thompson (R-Marietta) was not happy with the news that Jordan could lose his seat. In an interview with The Christian Post, he said, Jordan “is a very good man, a strong Christian, and a dedicated, true conservative. He should be championed and rewarded, not punished. We need more like him, but people like him are in short supply!”
The Columbus Dispatch's anonymous source also said that Jordan's willingness to oppose his party leaders may be a result of the fact that he represents such a strongly Republican district, and no fear of losing reelection, that he has not developed the relationships he would need to survive in a more competitive environment.
“The downside of being in an uber-safe district is you often don't develop the strategic skills you need to survive in the arena and in this case that is going to be painfully evident to Jim Jordan,” the source said.