By Sarah Ramon
This story is a part of a question and answer series with newly-elected members of the Indiana General Assembly. Some responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.
Meet Rep. Jack Jordan
Occupation: State Representative
INDIANAPOLIS – Rep. Jack Jordan, R-Bremen, plans to partner with his colleagues to work on a balanced budget, infrastructure needs and education during his first session as a representative.
A retired businessman, Jordan grew up on a small farm in Bremen and is a member of one of the founding families of the city. In his hometown, he sits on business, nonprofit and international mission boards.
“Usually at this time, I’m spending six weeks in either Romania or India,” Jordan said. “So, this is the first time in 20 years I haven’t been gone, which is kind of weird.”
He decided to run for the office when his friend, former Rep. Tim Harman, R-Bremen, decided not to run for re-election.
Jordan currently sits on the Education Committee, Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee, and Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee.
Rep. Jack Jordan, R-Bremen, will focus on education during his first session in the Indiana House of Representatives. Photo by Sarah Ramon, TheStatehouseFile.com
TheStatehouseFile.com was able to sit down with Jordan to discuss what issues he wants to tackle this session and his most embarrassing day so far as a representative.
Q: What are your goals for this session?
A: We have to have a budget that is balanced so I’m going to work along and partner with my colleagues to make sure we have a balanced budget and I have no doubt that we won’t.
The second one is that we have to figure out how to fund our infrastructure needs and that’s going to be really tricky, I mean really tricky, given the last revenue forecast isn’t what we wanted it to be. So funding infrastructure is going to be a wild ride. I’m confident that a lot of good ideas are going to come up on how we get that done.
The third one is on education, which is more personal to me on ensuring that we reward teachers and support them in a way that we get the best and greatest teachers to just pour their hearts out into these kids.
But my initial goals were two-fold. It was to find the bathrooms and find the best coffee. But I reached those in week one.
Q: Have you authored any pieces of legislation?
A: I have not, on purpose. First of all, I think we have way too many bills and laws. So, every law we have is less freedom.
Secondly, I come into every new job that I’ve ever gone into with a, “You need to build a credibility first before you start taking initiatives.” So, I’m sure as this session goes on, I’ll get involved in some education bills as a sponsor of that bill. But right out of the gate, I decided I need to understand what’s going on before I jump into that side of it. But don’t ever expect me to jump in and do a lot, because we just need less laws.
Q: Have you faced any unexpected challenges so far?
A: I probably shouldn’t share this with you. I had my most embarrassed day. House Speaker Brian Bosma is out there at the end of session and he does a head fake.
We were together a bit at the governor’s ball joking around and I was harassing him about a bunch of stuff. So he got payback because he did a head fake.
He had me adjourn the House and I really wasn’t paying attention. I have what needs to be said written right there, but I forgot to stand and Bosma made me do it over, standing.
So I’ve had a most embarrassing moment so far. Yeah, the whole chamber laughed at me. I got a whole bunch of handshakes afterwards. And you can’t get back at Bosma because he has the gavel.
Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing your district that you would like to address?
A: It’s interesting because I have a great district. It’s Marshall County and Fulton County, both rural, both fairly similar. But the biggest issues are education. Teacher salaries aren’t what they need to be to really reward them for all they do. So teacher salaries for me are a big thing. Just supporting our schools in other ways and not bog them down with a lot of state mandates and things like that.
Another thing is economic development in certain areas of our district and some areas it’s booming in the northern part, but Fulton County just lost one of the major employers. So, economic development is really important on that front. So, what’s really nice is to be on those two committees: education and that other long one that has economic development in the title.
They are just hard-working folks, just integrity, just as a whole: a neat, neat district because they’re just great people on that front.
Q: What is the best part of your job as a politician?
A: The best part is just knowing that I can do things that will make a difference in people’s lives. It’s humbling. It’s really humbling. Again, one of my core beliefs is that every person has unique and amazing God-given potential. Through education, it’s through economic activities that I can help them. Hopefully I can use this as a platform to really improve people’s lives and give them a better outcome in their life and more opportunities and hopefully more fun too.
So, I guess the best part is it’s humbling to be able to, hopefully, make decisions that will make a difference in people’s lives.
Sarah Ramon is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.