Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican and a top leader within the conservative House Freedom Caucus “is being encouraged by some of his colleagues” to consider a run for House speaker, according to caucus Chairman Mark Meadows.
Jordan – who was known as a key adversary to former House Speaker John Boehner and a constant rabble rouser in the House – would have a long-shot to becoming the speaker. But, the movement reveals just how long of a race lies ahead of the Republican conference. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced his retirement Wednesday, but has said he plans to remain speaker until January 2019.
A House member, asking for anonymity, told CNN that Jordan informed him that he was considering running for the top job.
When asked Friday about his interest in running for the job, Jordan said his focus is “the next six months” and just making sure the GOP wins in midterms.
“There is no race for speaker right now, and if and when there is, I’ve had colleagues who’ve said, ‘Jim you should consider that,’ and I’ve said, ‘Yeah, I’m open to that,’” Jordan told reporters on Capitol Hill.
The news of Jordan’s interest was first reported by The Washington Post, which reported that Jordan is strongly considering a run.
The House Freedom Caucus is viewed among rank-and-file members as a trouble-causing faction within the House GOP. The chances of Jordan running and successfully winning would be slim, but if he were to enter the race it could make the job tougher for someone else to unite the conference and win the votes.
So far, the often-cited candidates for the job continue to be the No. 2 House Republican, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and the No. 3 House Republican, Majority Whip Steve Scalise, but the effort to encourage Jordan reveals that a bitter leadership race may yet still unfold within the fractured GOP conference. Scalise has said he does not plan to run directly against McCarthy, but a leadership source told CNN earlier in the week that Scalise plans to be ready in case McCarthy declines to run for the job or struggles to find the votes as he did in 2015.
This story has been updated with additional developments.
CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this report.