Ohio farmer who voted for Trump mulls independent run against Jim Jordan: ‘We hold kryptonite to this president in our shirt pockets’
U.S. Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio has been a favorite of the far-right Tea Party and is one of President Donald Trump’s most strident defenders in the U.S. House of Representatives. But not everyone in the Buckeye State appreciates Jordan’s relentless support of Trumpism, and a farmer who supported Trump in 2016 is exploring the possibility of running against Jordan in the 2020 election.

The Toledo Blade’s Liz Skalka reports that Chris Gibbs, a cattle and grain farmer from Shelby County, Ohio, is “launching an exploratory committee” to possibly run against Jordan. A former Republican, Gibbs would challenge Jordan not as a Democrat, but as an independent — and his biggest motivation is Trump’s tariffs.

Gibbs, who formerly chaired the local GOP in his area, told the Toledo Blade, “tariffs for agriculture have been devastating. In Northwest Ohio, (farmers) have had a heck of a time.”

Although Gibbs is critical of Trump and Jordan, he isn’t fond of 2019’s Democrats either. The farmer told the Toledo Blade, “people are tired of the vitriol in Washington on both sides. It isn’t just Jim Jordan. It’s the vitriol back and forth and the lack of ability to roll up your sleeves and get something done for the American people.”

But unseating Jordan in 2020 would be an uphill battle for either Gibbs or the Democrat who wins the nomination in Jordan’s district. Jordan, who served in the Ohio State Legislature in the the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006, represents Ohio’s 4th Congressional District— which is deep red and went for Trump overwhelmingly in 2016. Jordan carried his district by a landslide in 2016, winning 68% of the votes.

But farmers are struggling in Gibbs’ area of Ohio, and Gibbs believes it’s important to speak out on the effect that Trump’s tariffs are having.

“We hold kryptonite to this president in our shirt pockets,” Gibbs told the Toledo Blade. “And what is it? It’s our vote — because he knows if he loses that agriculture support, he loses rural communities. And if he loses the rural communities, he loses Wisconsin, he loses Michigan, and he loses western Pennsylvania — and he gets nibbled at in Ohio.”