WASHINGTON, D. C – The Jan. 6 riot where hundreds of Donald Trump’s supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol and disrupted the count of electoral votes that determined Joe Biden’s presidential victory made Lima warehouse manager Jeffrey Sites decide to make his second run for Congress against Champaign County Republican Rep. Jim Jordan.
Sites, who came in second in last year’s Democratic congressional primary with 29% of the vote, said he believes Jordan bears a measure of responsibility for the “insurrection” where four rioters and a police officer died because “he’s done nothing but parroted everything that Trump has had to say” for the better part of four years, and led other Republicans on the House of Representatives floor in questioning election results that were upheld in court.
Jordan’s district extends from Lorain County south to just outside Columbus and west to near the Indiana border, covering all or parts of 14 counties.
Sites argues Jordan was a divisive figure even before Trump was elected, citing Jordan’s repeated efforts to blast the Obama administration and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.
“We’re supposed to be for the people, not dividing the people,” says Sites. “We have to get back to agreeing to disagree with one another. Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill didn’t agree on a lot of things but they could come together and talk, and that’s the kind of America we need to get back to.”
Jordan’s campaign spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on Sites’ run.
In November, Jordan got 68% of the vote against the Democrat who bested Sites in last year’s primary – Shannon Freshour. Jordan raised more than $18 million for his 2020 campaign, and had in excess of $5 million left over when it ended. He remains popular with voters who admire Trump, and frequently defends Trump in television interviews.
Jordan has also been skeptical of Biden’s calls for unity, last week telling FoxNews: “It’s tough to unify when you’re trying to impeach a President who has already left. It is tough to unify when the cancel culture is telling half the population you’re not allowed to speak. It’s tough to unify when there’s a double standard. One set of rules for President Trump and his family and one set of rules for Joe Biden and his family.”
He has also said that the people who stormed the Capitol must “held accountable and prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” telling FoxNews that Republicans “have been consistent” in calling for prosecuting people who destroyed property and attacked police officers and private citizens during riots over the summer to protest the deaths of African Americans at the hands of police, as well as those who rioted at the Capitol.
“Democrats, on the other hand, this summer they said the cause justified the action,” said Jordan. “They even raised money to bail these rioters and looters out of jail. They named streets after the organizations who were pushing for these events. All the while, they were talking about defunding the police. So, let’s be consistent. Let’s be consistent and let’s calm everything down and focus on unifying the country as we move forward.”
Since posting a Jan. 13 statement on Twitter that said he’s “gearing up to run against” Jordan, Sites has raised $140,000 from nearly 3,000 different contributors, a campaign spokesman said. During his last run, Sites campaign collected more than $400,000.
If elected, the U.S. Army veteran pledges to be a voice for the middle class in a Congress that works for the wealthy and powerful. He says he believes in LGBTQ rights, that climate change needs to be addressed, and that a single payer health care system would help address coverage and cost issues. He says he also is concerned about the deficit, and supports the Second Amendment while believing the nation needs to have a conversation about gun violence.
He says he’s lived through challenges that average Americans face, such as being unable to find a decently paid job after being laid off. He says he’s been unable to afford to see doctors, and skipped medication to make ends meet. He says Jordan “has championed tax giveaways to the wealthy, cutting Social Security and Medicare to pay for them, and stripping health care away from millions of Americans.”
”I was out of work for 22 months during the Great Recession, and it took me years to get back everything I lost,” said a statement from Sites. “The billionaires and the big businesses were back on their feet a lot faster than ordinary people because the politicians weren’t there for us.
“We’re in tough times yet again, and we could use leaders who will look out for regular working folks,” Sites continued. “Instead we get empty promises and pandering from professional politicians. It’s time we had someone in Washington who gets what our lives are like and is willing to stand up for us.”