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People in Rep. Jim Jordan's Ohio district have mixed feelings about the GOP firebrand


Congressman Jim Jordan is hoping to become House speaker when voting resumes today. Jordan's reputation as a firebrand is an asset to his supporters, but for his detractors, it is a liability. NPR's Sarah McCammon tells us more from Jordan's district in central Ohio.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: When you ask about her Congressman, Jim Jordan, Linda Settlage (ph) doesn't hold back.

LINDA SETTLAGE: Don't like him at all. He doesn't do anything for us at all. He just yells and screams and causes trouble.

MCCAMMON: Settlage was enjoying breakfast at LuLu's Diner in Lima, Ohio, on Tuesday. She says Jordan should focus on improving health care and the economy at home. As a Democrat, Settlage is in the minority here. Jordan won reelection in 2022 with nearly 70% of the vote. Blake Kenner of nearby Bellefontaine can understand why Jordan enjoys that level of support.

BLAKE KENNER: I like him as a person. I know him. I've met him.

MCCAMMON: Kenner is a retired cop, now a school resource officer. When it comes to Jordan, there's one thing he can't get past, though.

KENNER: I think it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth on the January 6 incident.

MCCAMMON: Kenner was dining at Kewpee, a popular burger joint in Lima earlier this week. He says he's concerned about Jordan's involvement in the rally led by former President Donald Trump on January 6.

KENNER: That incident turned my stomach. I saw police officers trying to do their job and being fought by their own citizens. For anyone to support it is sickening.

MCCAMMON: Back at the diner, Russell Blue (ph), who lives in a rural area in Jordan's district, has no issue with his reputation as a right-wing rabble-rouser.

RUSSELL BLUE: Well, I think he's a bulldog. He's got some good ideas.

MCCAMMON: The bigger concern for Blue is the Republican Party's inability to come together.

BLUE: Why can't you guys agree at least once or twice? We don't have time for this.

MCCAMMON: As long as Republicans can't choose a speaker, Congress can't function, even as they face the looming prospect of a government shutdown in less than a month.

Sarah McCammon, NPR News, Lima, Ohio. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Sarah McCammon
Sarah McCammon is a National Correspondent covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR. Her work focuses on political, social and cultural divides in America, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersections of politics and religion. She's also a frequent guest host for NPR news magazines, podcasts and special coverage.