Rep. Jim Jordan (R)
Ohio 4th District
Central Ohio looks mostly like farmland to the traveler. Yet this is manufacturing country, indeed one of America’s premier manufacturing areas, where the economy is based on factories in small towns and on rural highways. These places seem far from anywhere important, yet are on one of the great east-west routes—the old rail lines and newer highways—that cross the country. They seem old-fashioned and rooted in an older technological time, with some exceptions. Wapakoneta is the hometown of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, and has the Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum. A county away is Bellefontaine, site of the first concrete street in America. Politically, this crossroads on the flat limestone plains of northern Ohio is one of the Republican heartlands of the United States. It has been quietly prosperous most of the years since World War II, though it has been hurt by the continuing erosion of the automobile, steel and coal industries and troubled by recent manufacturing job losses, including the planned closing of a General Motors facility in Mansfield that employs 700 people. In 2008, Siemens announced that it was closing its plant in Bellefontaine. But considering its old-line economic base, central Ohio seemed to be surviving the recession better than other parts of the state. Lima had reason to be optimistic when Procter & Gamble made plans to build a massive new warehouse to distribute liquid Tide detergent, which is produced in a factory a mile away. And ethanol production is a growth industry in the area.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
Much of central Ohio makes up the 4th Congressional District. It includes Lima, where Standard Oil drilled what was once the largest oil field in the nation; Marion, where young socialist-to-be Norman Thomas delivered newspapers edited by president-to-be Warren Harding; and Mansfield, home of John Sherman, one of Ohio’s great 19th century Republican statesmen, and his brother General William Tecumseh Sherman, who marched his troops through Georgia for the Union. This has been a Republican stronghold since the Civil War. Republican George W. Bush twice carried the district with 62% and 65% of the vote respectively in 2000 and 2004. The district was one of the reasons he carried Ohio, and the presidency, a second time. Republican presidential nominee John McCain carried the district with 60% in 2008.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R)
Elected: 2006, 2nd term.
Born: Feb. 17, 1964, Troy .
Education: U. of WI, B.A. 1986, OH St. U., M.Ed. 1991, Capital U., J.D. 2002.
Family: Married (Polly); 4 children.
Elected office: OH House of Reps., 1994-2000; OH Senate, 2000-06.
Professional Career: Asst. wrestling coach, OH St. U., 1987-95; Wrestling camp coach, clinician, 1987-2006.
The congressman from the 4th District is Jim Jordan, a Republican elected in 2006. Jordan grew up in Champaign County and graduated from Graham High School in 1982, after earning four state wrestling championships and a 150-1 record. At the University of Wisconsin, Jordan won two NCAA wrestling championships in the 134-pound weight class and was inducted into the Badger Hall of Fame. After graduating in 1986 with an economics degree, Jordan worked as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University, where he earned a master’s degree in education before completing a law degree at Capital University. He won a state House seat in 1994, won re-election twice, and then won a tough primary in 2000 for the state Senate. During his time in the Legislature, Jordan compiled a solidly conservative voting record. He sponsored legislation creating Ohio’s “Choose Life” license plates, backed a ban on same-sex marriage, and supported government vouchers for private school tuition. When Jordan announced he was running to succeed Republican Rep. Michael Oxley, The Columbus Dispatch called Jordan “one of the best-known conservative Republicans in the Ohio legislature.”
|Jim Jordan (R)||186,154||(65%)||($436,919)|
|Mike Carroll (D)||99,499||(35%)||($27,697)|
|Jim Jordan (R)||Unopposed|
Prior Winning Percentages: 2006 (60%)
Oxley, who chaired the House Financial Services Committee, retired after 12 terms. Jordan entered the six-way Republican primary with the most name recognition and had support from the Ohio Right to Life, the National Rifle Association and the national anti-tax group Club for Growth. Findlay real estate developer Frank Guglielmi spent $1.6 million of his own money and saturated the television airwaves with ads. Jordan raised plenty of money but did not break the $1 million mark until a month after the May primary. While money mattered, so did geography. Jordan won with 51%, carrying eight of 11 counties. Guglielmi carried only his home county and one other to finish second with 30%. Kevin Nestor, president of the Mansfield-Richland Area Chamber of Commerce, came in third with 11%. Despite the tough political environment for Republicans in 2006, Democrats never mounted a competitive campaign for the seat. Jordan beat Lima attorney and Vietnam veteran Rick Siferd 60%-40%.
In the House, Jordan established a solidly conservative voting record. In 2007, he set his mark early as one of 50 Republicans to vote against all of the Democrats’ “Six for ‘06” agenda. Also that year, he filed nine amendments to limit spending in the appropriations bills; none of them passed. On the Budget Committee, he advocated a commission to reduce government waste. In May 2009, Jordan, who likes to say he came to Washington to protect families, sponsored a bill that would define marriage in the District of Columbia as the union between a man and woman.
He was re-elected easily in 2008.