One of the most conservative members of the Ohio Senate has become the first official candidate to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Mike Oxley (R., Findlay).
State Sen. Jim Jordan (R., Urbana) announced Thursday that he would run for the 4th Congressional District seat that Mr. Oxley will vacate early in 2007. Mr. Oxley, who has served in Congress since 1981, said Tuesday that he would not seek re-election.
"I have received a great deal of encouragement from family and supporters, and I am excited to get on the campaign trail," Mr. Jordan said in a statement. "As a member of the state legislature, I have led the fight on the issues that matter most to families, like cutting taxes and defending our traditional conservative values. I am running for Congress with renewed energy to make a difference on these important issues."
The 4th Congressional District includes Allen, Auglaize, Hancock, Wyandot, Hardin, Logan, Marion, Crawford, Richland, Morrow, and Knox counties.
Mr. Jordan, 41, was elected a year ago to his second term in the Ohio Senate from District 12, which includes Allen, Champaign, Darke, Mercer, and Shelby counties and part of Auglaize County. He served in the Ohio House from 1995 to 2001.
During his time in the legislature, Mr. Jordan has been known for his fierce opposition to tax increases and abortion and a willingness to sometimes buck leaders of his own party.
He cast one of two "no" votes from the GOP caucus this spring against Gov. Bob Taft's $51.2 billion, two-year budget because he opposed the inclusion of a gross receipts tax.
The 4th Congressional District has been a safe Republican seat for years, though Mr. Oxley's re-election last year was his closest race since he won a special election in 1981. Democrat Ben Konop, a first-time candidate, won 41 percent of the vote and carried Allen County.
Mansfield Mayor Lydia Reid, a Democrat, said this week she was considering a run for the seat. Also mulling a congressional campaign is state Rep. Mike Gilb (R., Findlay).
Mr. Gilb has been preparing to run for the state Senate District 1 seat, but Mr. Oxley's retirement announcement could change those plans.
"We've been engaged currently in a state Senate campaign for the 1st District, but this certainly creates some new opportunities in an open seat that we're going to take a look at," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.