Jeff Sites, the warehouse manager from Lima who competed in the Democratic primary for Jim Jordan’s congressional seat in 2020, announced this week that he plans to run again.
Mr. Sites said he’s starting an early bid for the seat, up again in 2022, because he doesn’t believe Mr. Jordan represents the district’s middle-class voters.
“Jordan has always been the poster boy for what’s wrong with American politics. Now he’s undermining our democracy by trying to overturn the will of the people. We deserve better. We deserve somebody who will fight for the middle class as hard as Jim Jordan fought to tear up our ballots and tear up our social security,” Mr. Sites said in a video posted online.
Mr. Sites came in second in the 2020 Democratic primary with 29 percent of the vote, losing to Shannon Freshour.
The 4th Congressional District, as it’s drawn now, was designed as a safe seat for Republicans. The district represents all or part of 14 counties, stretching from Lorain County to nearly the Indiana line. Mr. Jordan has represented the district since 2007.
But the contours of the district will change at least somewhat before the next election in the upcoming round of redistricting. Mr. Jordan, a firebrand who is one of former President Donald Trump’s closest allies in the U.S. House, is also considered a top-tier candidate for governor or U.S. Senate in 2022, meaning Mr. Sites or another Democrat could be challenging a different Republican.
Mr. Sites’ campaign said since beginning to talk about running again, the campaign has already raised $140,000 from nearly 3,000 donors in 12 days.
The U.S. Army veteran has used his story of hardship to connect with voters. Mr. Sites was out of work for 22 months during the Great Recession, “and it took me years to get back everything I lost,” he said.
“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. Things have to be different this time,” Mr. Sites said.
He also accused Mr. Jordan of being one of Mr. Trump’s “key enablers” by amplifying conspiracy theories about the election that resulted in the U.S. Capitol riot.
Mr. Jordan did not respond to a request for comment.
“[Jordan’s] been the best co-conspirator Trump could ask for. But he hasn’t done squat for Ohio in 14 years in Washington,” Mr. Sites said. “We deserve a congressman who will fight for working families as hard as Jim Jordan fought to undermine democracy.”