Trump targets House Freedom Caucus chair in intra-party Republican primary feud

Trump splits with supporters Reps. Matt Gaetz and Byron Donalds as the former president targets Bob Good, who supported Ron DeSantis in the GOP primaries

As he fights for his political life, House Freedom Caucus chair Rep. Bob Good of Virginia is facing off against a primary challenger supported by the most powerful politician in the Republican Party - former President Trump.

And the contentious intra-party battle in Virginia's reliably red 5th Congressional District, in the southern part of the Commonwealth, is pitting conservatives versus conservatives and Trump against some of his biggest allies in the House of Representatives. 

It's one of the high-profile races on Tuesday as Virginia and Oklahoma hold primary elections.

And if Good loses, he'll become the first House incumbent from either major party to be defeated by a primary challenger so far this election year.


Rep. Bob Good speaks at press conference

Rep. Bob Good (R-VA), Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, speaks alongside fellow members during a press conference on the government funding bill, at the U.S. Capitol on March 22, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images) (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Good incurred Trump's wrath for being one of just a handful of House Republicans to endorse Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the GOP presidential primaries.

Even though the two-term congressman avoided criticizing Turmp and quickly endorsed the former president after DeSantis ended his White House bid in January, Trump wrote on this Truth Social platform that "the damage had been done!"

Trump last month endorsed John McGuire, a Virginia state senator and former Navy SEAL, who is challenging Good for the GOP nomination.

McGuire also has the backing of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, a conservative firebrand and major Trump ally who is a vocal critic of Good who last year broke with the House Freedom Caucus, which is considered the most far-right group of lawmakers in the chamber.

Republican California Rep. Kevin McCarthy

Then-Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, as he was ousted as House Speaker. (Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is also targeting Good, who was one of eight Republicans last autumn who joined with Democrats to vote to oust McCarthy from his leadership position.

But Good has the support of Reps. Matt Gaetz and Byron Donalds of Florida, two conservatives who are also strong backers of Trump.

And fellow House Freedom Caucus members, Reps. Chip Roy of Texas and Andy Biggs of Arizona, joined Good in Virginia for a rally on Friday.

Even though he's being targeted by Trump, Good is spotlighting his support for the former president as he runs for re-election.

"Happy Birthday to the best and next president of the United States, President Trump!" Good wrote on social media on Friday, on the former president's 78th birthday.

Good also showed up earlier this spring at Trump's criminal trial in New York City, to show his support for the former president.

In Virginia's Republican Senate primary, Trump is supporting Navy veteran Hung Cao. 

Cao faces Scott Parkinson, who has endorsements from Good and other GOP members of Congress. Three other candidates are also vying for the Republican nomination, with the winner challenging Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in November.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) arrives to a caucus meeting with House Republicans on Capitol Hill

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) arrives to a caucus meeting with House Republicans on Capitol Hill May 10, 2023 in Washington, DC.  (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

In Oklahoma, the race to watch is in the red-state's 4th Congressional District, where 10-term Republican Rep. Tom Cole is facing a primary challenge from wealthy businessman Paul Bondar.

Cole, the chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, has spent over $3 million as he fights for re-nomination. But Bondar, a first time candidate who made his money in the insurance industry, has shelled out nearly $5 million to try and unseat Cole, who has Trump's backing.

There are three other candidates on the primary ballot, and if no one tops 50%, there will be a runoff with the two leading contenders in August.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.