The conservative political advocacy group FreedomWorks is backing Republican Rep. Jim Jordan to be the next speaker of the House of Representatives despite accusations of ignoring alleged sexual abuse during his tenure as an Ohio State assistant wrestling coach.
FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon told CNBC in an interview that the $500,000 it's dedicating toward its campaign to help Jordan become the next speaker is linked to its larger effort in getting voters to come out in support of vulnerable Republican candidates as the GOP looks to keep control of the House.
"You have to understand Jim running for speaker is a dream come true because a lot of the money being spent on the elections is on hyper-local issues," Brandon said. "But our base doesn't care about that. They care about the national issues and Jim entering this race creates a national issue to talk about it," he added.
FreedomWorks is first looking to promote Jordan's candidacy in districts held by members of the House Freedom Caucus, the conservative group co-founded by Jordan, including the 7th district of Virginia, 1st district of Iowa and the 13th District of North Carolina.
It plans to go door to door, make phone calls and host local events to convince voters who are largely part of the Republican base of constituents within these districts that Jordan could be their reward if Republicans maintain their majority in the House.
The 1st and 7th districts are both marked as toss-ups by the nonpartisan Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball.
GOP Rep. Dave Brat is the incumbent in Virginia's 7th District and he's taking on Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA officer who's receiving fundraising support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
A sign of a possible upset is clear within their campaign finance records.
She outraised Brat throughout the second quarter with Spanberger bringing in over $615,000, while Brat raised just above $418,000, Federal Election Commission records show.
Brat however does have an advantage with how much cash his campaign has on hand. The congressman has $917,000 to work with while Spanberger has $465,000.
Iowa's 1st District is held by Rep. Rod Blum. He's set to battle state Rep. Abby Finkenauer in November. She too has been gaining momentum throughout her recent primary and raised $605,000 this quarter while Blum managed to pick up $205,000. Similarly the Republican has more cash on hand with $1.6 million, while Finkenauer is lagging behind with $839,000.
While Jordan may be under scrutiny because of the accusations being leveled against him by Ohio State wrestlers that he once coached, Brandon said the political operation is not worried about the scandal having any impact on its attempts of getting the base to vote this year.
"When I look at this [Oho State scandal] it seems very politically motivated. The timing is very odd to me. He's not accused of a crime. He's accused that he should've known," Brandon said. "I'm assuming the study by Ohio State will say that many leaders of the school should've known and done better," he added.
Jordan has said publicly that he was never informed about alleged sexual misconduct while he was an assistant coach of the school's wrestling team.