Republican Troy Balderson accepted the endorsement of Rep. Jim Jordan, but he refuses to comment on Jordan's race for House speaker or the accusations Jordan ignored sexual abuse in the past.
Troy Balderson, a Republican running for Congress in a special election in a district outside Columbus, gladly accepted campaign cash and the endorsement of embattled Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH). But Balderson refuses to say if he will support Jordan’s bid to lead the Republican Party, a bid clouded by Jordan’s involvement in an Ohio State University sexual abuse scandal.
When the Columbus Dispatch asked Balderson if he would support fellow Ohioan Jim Jordan’s bid for Speaker, Balderson suddenly clammed up, unwilling to discuss the issue.
The Dispatch asked a series of questions about the issue of congressional leadership, including whether Balderson supported Jordan to become speaker and if he thought JOrdan would be a good speaker.
Balderson flatly refused to give an answer to the question, and refused to speak to Jordan’s involvement in the Ohio State University sexual abuse scandal.
Jordan has actively supported Balderson’s campaign. After Balderson won the Republican primary, Jordan endorsed him. Jordan also co-hosted a fundraiser for Balderson’s campaign along with other Ohio Republicans.
But that was before news of Jordan’s involvement in the sexual abuse scandal broke.
Several former Ohio State wrestlers accused Jordan of ignoring years of sexual abuse by an athletic doctor at Ohio State, where Jordan served as an assistant coach for the wrestling team. The doctor is accused of fondling students and ogling students in the locker room shower.
“Jordan definitely knew that these things were happening — yes, most definitely,” David Range, an OSU wrestler from the late 1980s, told the Washington Post. “It was there. He knew about it because it was an everyday occurrence.”
Jordan denies that he knew anything, saying at least nine accusers are not telling the truth.
In the midst of an investigation by Ohio State and multiple lawsuits, Jordan announced his bid to be speaker of the House.
In the midst of the brewing scandal, Balderson had no qualms accepting the endorsement and campaign cash from Jordan. And now he refuses to rule out supporting Jordan to be speaker of the House.
In the past two years, Republicans have rallied around members of their own party embroiled in sexual abuse scandals. Republicans, including Balderson, staunchly support Trump despite more than a dozen credible accusations of sexual abuse, Trump on tape admitting to being a sexual abuser, and Trump paying off more than one woman to maintain their silence about alleged affairs.
Republicans also gave their institutional support to accused child predator Roy Moore, who ran for Senate in Alabama, eventually losing to Democrat Doug Jones.
Balderson is in a highly contested special election, yet refuses to distance himself from any Republicans embroiled in scandal.
On August 7, voters in Ohio will have to decide if they want to be represented by someone who refuses to answer the most basic of questions.