COLUMBUS – U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, co-founding father of the Freedom Caucus, is throwing help behind an unlikely candidate: an insurance coverage agent from Southwest Ohio who’s taking over a sitting Republican state senator in a main.
Jordan, R-Urbana, is slated to speak at a fundraiser Tuesday for Lebanon’s Brad Lamoreaux, 46, a longtime friend of Jordan. Lamoreaux is challenging Sen. Steve Wilson, R-Maineville, who was appointed in January by Statehouse leaders to replace former Sen. Shannon Jones after she was elected a Warren County commissioner.
Jordan doesn’t typically weigh in on Statehouse races, but he has lobbied for a candidate outside his north-central Ohio district before. Jordan supported now-U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, a Miami County businessman who was running to replace retiring Speaker John Boehner, of West Chester. Jordan’s help proved invaluable to Davidson’s victory in the crowded race over several experienced politicians.
Jordan openly feuded with Boehner and benefits from having more like-minded conservatives in Congress. What’s the incentive to weigh in on a state Senate seat in Southwest Ohio?
For one, Lamoreaux is a longtime supporter and friend of Jordan. Lamoureaux helped Jordan campaign for his congressional seat after former U.S. Rep. Mike Oxley retired. Now, Jordan is returning the favor.
“Brad Lamoreaux is a rock-solid conservative with the backbone to stand up against liberals and special interests in Columbus. I am proud to endorse my friend Brad Lamoreaux,” reads a Jordan quote on Lamoreaux’s Facebook page.
Some conservatives in the district, which spans all of Warren County, eastern Hamilton County and a sliver of Butler County, weren’t thrilled with Wilson’s appointment – or his past support of Gov. John Kasich. Wilson raised money for Kasich’s gubernatorial runs in 2010 and 2014. Kasich appointed Wilson to the Miami University board of trustees in 2011.
“Several conservative leaders reached out and said they were not that happy with the choice,” Lamoreaux told The Enquirer. (Lamoreaux didn’t apply for Jones’ vacant seat.) “It’s nothing personal against Sen. Wilson. Let’s give the voters a choice.”
Lamoreaux isn’t Wilson’s only challenger. Other hopefuls include former Springboro school board member Kelly Kohls, who challenged Jones in 2014 and earlier that year mulled a bid for lieutenant governor, and Anderson Township’s…