Rep. Jim Jordan, a leading member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, has been privately courting lawmakers about a bid to succeed Paul Ryan as House speaker, according to sources on Capitol Hill.
Yet many Republican lawmakers and political operatives believe Jordan's relative lack of fundraising prowess gives him little chance to compete against House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the frontrunner to succeed Ryan. There are also concerns that a Jordan campaign would create divisions within the caucus and leave an opening for another lawmaker to jump into the race.
Some House GOP members, in a series of dinners and meetings, have encouraged Jordan, a staunch conservative from Ohio, to make a run for speaker, according to lawmakers, aides and political strategists who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity.
A spokeswoman for Jordan did not return repeated requests for comment, but the lawmaker told PBS on Tuesday that he wants to be in the mix.
"If and when there's a race for speaker, I plan to be part of that conversation," Jordan said. He did not elaborate.
Behind the scenes, Jordan has continued to express interest in making a move for the top job but hasn't made a final decision. Indeed, he may instead opt to run for another position in the leadership, sources said. It's unclear what other role he may want to pursue in the new Congress after the 2018 midterm elections — and it's not certain Republicans will hold onto their majority in the House.