How Janet Garrett is Taking on the Freedom Caucus

The Fight Against Fringe Conservativism

Outside of D.C. — outside of Congress — former Republican Speaker John Boehner is a lot more candid about his GOP contemporaries. On the green of an Ohio golf course, he tells Politico how he witnessed his own party move to the fringes of conservative ideology. And perhaps none drew Boehner’s ire quite like Ohio’s own, Jim Jordan, who first chaired the often controversial Freedom Caucus. “Jordan was a terrorist as a legislator going back to his days in the Ohio House and Senate,” Boehner tells a reporter between holes. “A terrorist. A legislative terrorist.”

As is prone to happen in the House, Jordan is up for re-election this year in Ohio’s 4th, one of the most conservative congressional districts in the country, with the last serving Democrat elected in 1933. But as Jordan looks to protect an increasingly unmoored White House, that near one-hundred year record might be coming to an end. And Jordan’s opponent, a former school teacher, might just be the one to do it. Her name is Janet Garrett.

Short, unassuming, and unanimously loved by her community, Garrett might not be what people first expect when they think of politicians. But Garrett is made of tougher stuff — there’s a mettle in her that lets her stand a little bit taller, and lets her voice ring a little bit louder. Listening to Janet speak with calm and level-headed authority, you can see how she succeeded as the union head for her fellow teachers, and you can see where she’s going. In a community that worries how tariffs will affect them and has seen a squeezing of the middle class, Garrett seems particularly well poised against Jordan, whose largest donor is the House Freedom Fund — a PAC that is lock step with the administration. And that alone might explain why, in a traditional Republican stronghold, Garrett is gaining traction.