Republican U.S. Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer was one of 20 Republicans who voted against Rep. Jim Jordan in his bid to be House Speaker on Tuesday.
Jordan, of Ohio, who is considered a close ally of former President Donald J. Trump, fell short of the 217 votes he needed to be speaker in the first vote held Tuesday. Another vote was pushed to Wednesday morning.
Chavez-DeRemer, who is one of more than a dozen Republicans whose district voted for U.S. President Joe Biden, said she supported Rep. Kevin McCarthy and said she would continue to reassess as everything plays out. She said she didn’t have confidence that Jordan would be able to unite the GOP.
“It’s clear that the Republican Conference is still divided,” she said in a statement, “and I’m deeply concerned that the chaos of the last few weeks would only continue if Congressman Jordan becomes speaker.”
Oregon’s 5th Congressional District seat was held for seven terms by moderate Democrat Kurt Schrader before Chavez-DeRemer managed to flip it after an expensive battle last year. She became the first Republican Latina congresswoman from Oregon. (U.S. Rep. Andrea Salinas, a Democrat representing Oregon’s 6th Congressional District, was elected the same cycle.) Chavez-DeRemer, a former mayor of Happy Valley, ran as a political moderate, highlighting her bipartisanship while in local office and her business experience.
“We must focus on what really matters,” she said in a statement. “Israel is at war, our southern border is not secure, fentanyl is poisoning our children, and government funding is set to run out just before Thanksgiving,” she said.
Jordan is now expected to chat with the Republican holdouts.
Oregon’s other Republican in Congress, U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz, said he served with Jordan on the House Judiciary Committee and watched him “lead productive and forceful discussions regarding the southern Border, oversight of the FBI and the Department of Justice and review of Homeland Security.”
Bentz wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he would continue to support Jordan’s effort to become speaker, noting he’s spent “years consistently supporting Republican Conservative values.”
Jordan was one of several Republicans who denounced the House investigation into the Jan. 6th Capitol riots as a Democratic “partisan witch hunt.”