Republican leaders in Ohio’s 4th District are sticking by Rep. Jim Jordan amid allegations that he did not report sexual abuse while an assistant wrestling coach.
Matt Gilmore, chairman of the Mercer County Republican Party, said the allegations did not affect his opinion of Jordan and said as a lawyer, there is no way he would take the case of the accusers.
Seven former wrestlers at Ohio State University accused Jordan of knowing that team doctor Richard Strauss sexually abused athletes.
“This is not an anti-victim statement,” Gilmore said, adding that Strauss’ 2005 death was ruled a suicide. “Why is this a story? Why is Jim Jordan a part of the story? It’s because he’s a congressman.”
Helen Hurst, chairwoman of the Lorain County Republican Party, said Jordan was a “fine, upstanding man.”
“It’s more than coincidental that this comes up this many years later as an allegation when he’s being considered possibly as speaker of the House,” she said. “Everything is an allegation but it still leaves a mark and that’s unfair.”
Both Gilmore and Hurst said they had not heard anything critical about Jordan back home.
Wes Farno, chairman of the Auglaize County Republican Party, said in an email that a few baseball dads he knew did not have positive things to say about the main Jordan accuser.
“They did not have anything good to say about the main accuser. As for timing, it definitely appears suspect,” Farno said in an email. “Jim is a great man, he serves with integrity and somebody, somewhere doesn’t want him to succeed.”