Kean votes for election-denying conservative firebrand as speaker

Twenty Republicans voted against Rep. Jim Jordan’s bid to become the next speaker of the House candidacy, far more than the handful he could afford to lose given the party’s narrow majority in Congress

The first vote on Jordan not only fell short but one ally of the Ohio Republican said it was, “much worse than we expected.”

Jordan, a conservative firebrand and election denier closely allied with former president Donald Trump, failed to win over enough Republicans to reach the majority required to become the next speaker.

A second round of voting is possible later today.

Jordan is seeking to succeed Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who was ousted as speaker two weeks ago.

Jordan became the Republican nominee after Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the first choice of the GOP conference, withdrew from the race last week.

The comical chaos caucus needed 15 rounds of voting for McCarthy to prevail among the GOP delegation in the United States House of Representatives but with war erupting in Israel and other global crises demanding coherent leadership, the situation is not funny.

Almost two hours after Jordan failed to earn enough votes to become speaker, Republican lawmakers said that they don’t really know what’s going to happen next. 

Rep. Tom Kean Jr. opened his re-election campaign up to a damaging line of attack by supporting Jordan, as did two other New Jersey Republicans, Reps. Jeff Van Drew and Chris Smith.

An analysis of key votes from the the 118th Congress shows that the Republican freshman from New Jersey’s most vulnerable swing district voted in lockstep with lunatic fringe politicians like Marjorie Taylor Greene.

“While these House members pass themselves off as moderates to their constituents and the media, they are in fact pushing the MAGA agenda in Washington,” said MoveOn Executive Director Rahna Epting. “They are the Complicit Caucus, voting with the radical right wing and causing real damage to our families, our communities, and our country.”

Democratic political strategist James J. Devine noted that President Joe Biden carried Kean’s district in 2020, a fact not lost on his political rivals.

“Tom Kean Jr. just voted for a man who in his personal life helped cover up sexual abuse and in his political life tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election and pass a national abortion ban,” said Sue Altman, one of two potential challengers. “Jim Jordan is a radical election denier who does not represent the values of this district and Tom Kean Jr. should be ashamed of his vote.”

“Tom Kean’s vote for Jim Jordan as Speaker shows who he truly is,” said Jason Blazakis, the other announced Democratic candidate. “Kean’s vote enables the far-right fringes of the Republican Party and follows the marching orders of the disgraced former president, Donald Trump… After weeks of dysfunction, Tom Kean was unable to deliver and caved to the MAGA extremists in his party, leaving our country and New Jerseyans to pay the price.”

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