House Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Jordan said Thursday that he was running for speaker, setting up a possible three-way race to succeed Paul Ryan after he retires from Congress at the end of the year.
"Yes, we are sending a letter to our colleagues as we speak," Jordan, the six-term Ohio Republican and co-founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said at the Capitol, CBS News reported.
The Daily Caller first reported that Jordan was announcing his candidacy.
Jordan, 54, could square off against House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, the No. 2 party member, and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.
Ryan reiterated that his support for McCarthy, telling reporters Thursday: "I'm not going to be here.
"I support Kevin McCarthy, everyone knows that," he said.
Jordan, who rose to prominence for his role during the questioning of Hillary Clinton during the 2015 hearings on the Benghazi attacks, has been accused of turning a blind eye to alleged sexual abuse at Ohio State while he was a wrestling coach years ago.
He has said that no abuse had ever been reported to him during in time as an assistant coach and has slammed the attacks as being "sequenced and choreographed" by Democrats because of his support of President Donald Trump.
Jordan also joined with Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows to file articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on his refusal to provide documents timely to Congress about the Russia probe.
He slammed Democratic attacks that the impeachment move sought to distract from the Ohio State investigation.
"I've talked to all kinds of my colleagues," Jordan told reporters Thursday. "They can see through that story."
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