Mainstream G.O.P. Group to Target Bob Good as It Shifts Mission and Members

Mainstream G.O.P. Group to Target Bob Good as It Shifts Mission and Members

The Republican Main Street Partnership, a gaggle that helps center-leaning House Republicans, plans to direct half 1,000,000 {dollars} right into a bid to defeat Representative Bob Good, a hard-right lawmaker from Virginia, making an uncommon push to oust a sitting Republican member of Congress.

The transfer is notable not simply because the group, via its marketing campaign giving arm, is inserting itself into the type of intramural combat in opposition to an incumbent that it sometimes avoids. It can also be hanging as a result of the candidate it’s backing — John J. McGuire, a former member of the Navy SEALs and an election denier who has pledged fealty to former President Donald J. Trump and promised to convey a “biblical worldview” to Congress — bears so little resemblance to the type of reasonable Republican the Main Street Partnership was based to assist.

The nonprofit, which operates out of a townhouse blocks from the Capitol, has for years raised and spent cash to assist susceptible Republicans representing politically aggressive districts, together with centrist G.O.P. lawmakers with extra reasonable positions on social points. Its Capitol Hill headquarters function one thing of a counterweight to the Conservative Partnership Institute, which operates close by because the nerve heart of the correct.

But because the Republican Party has veered towards the acute proper, purging itself of what was as soon as a large and influential bloc of centrists, the Main Street Partnership has additionally shed the “reasonable” label and adjusted the character of its mission. The group has just lately expanded its membership to incorporate way more conservatives, and has begun focusing much less on centrism and bipartisanship and extra on ridding Congress of G.O.P. rebels bent on disrupting legislative enterprise and stoking party divides.

Its determination to wade into the G.O.P. major in a solidly Republican district in Virginia reveals how the group intends to go on offense in opposition to the lawmakers who’ve performed huge roles in paralyzing the House and making it troublesome for the Republican majority to control — even when which means elevating a hard-right candidate it could by no means have supported previously.

“We are actually a gaggle of 90 members who simply need to get issues carried out,” mentioned Sarah Chamberlain, the president of the Main Street Partnership. She mentioned the group recognized Mr. Good as its first goal of this election 12 months due to his distinctive set of vulnerabilities.

The most blatant of these is that Mr. Good alienated Mr. Trump by making the politically fateful error of endorsing Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida within the early days of the Republican presidential major.

“Bob Good received’t be electable once we get carried out with him,” Chris LaCivita, Mr. Trump’s marketing campaign manager, advised Cardinal News in January. The feud permits the Main Street Partnership to focus on Mr. Good with out worry of beginning a proxy battle with the presumed Republican presidential nominee.

“We can’t have individuals like that in Congress; he doesn’t need to work collectively to get issues carried out,” Ms. Chamberlain mentioned of Mr. Good and his hard-right brethren within the House. “All they need to do is hinder the whole lot, even their very own stuff.”

The transfer comes as Speaker Mike Johnson has been actively discouraging Republicans from concentrating on each other within the upcoming elections and making an attempt — principally with out success — to get his rank and file to behave as a extra united workforce.

The Republican Main Street Partnership has tried to oust a sitting congressman simply as soon as earlier than, in 2020, when it labored via its marketing campaign arm to defeat former Representative Steve King of Iowa, who made himself a party pariah with a sequence of racist feedback.

This 12 months, the group’s marketing campaign giving arm, Defending Main Street, can also be spending $2.5 million in principally open Republican primaries, within the hopes of bolstering candidates who its leaders imagine would work to realize conservative coverage outcomes.

The group’s leaders hope the work may help save the Republican Party from future meltdowns of the type it has suffered within the House throughout this Congress, together with two lengthy and messy races for speaker and Republicans routinely siding with Democrats to dam their party’s personal laws from attending to the ground for votes.

But the choice to spend closely in opposition to an incumbent additionally underscores simply how divided congressional Republicans have change into because the party has moved to the correct.

Mr. Good, who in December was elected chairman of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, was one of many eight Republicans who voted to take away Kevin McCarthy as speaker final fall. He has labored to freeze the House flooring by blocking procedural votes as a protest in opposition to his personal party’s management. He has helped to derail Republican-written spending payments and mentioned that “most Americans received’t even miss” the federal government if there was a shutdown.

His challenger Mr. McGuire, a state senator in Virginia, additionally hails from the far proper. He attended the “Stop the Steal” rally on the Ellipse on Jan. 6, 2021, hosted a screening of the documentary “2000 Mules” that promoted a debunked 2020 election fraud conspiracy principle and has attacked Mr. Good for having “deserted” Mr. Trump.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, the right-wing Republican from Georgia, is a backer.

In explaining her group’s determination to assist Mr. McGuire, Ms. Chamberlain made it clear that she is now extra involved with jettisoning rabble-rousers from Congress than with elevating centrist Republicans, as soon as the group’s most important mission.

“Supporting Trump and the place he falls on the conservative spectrum performs no consider our decision-making,” Ms. Chamberlain mentioned. “John McGuire is dedicated to working to ship conservative options, not burning the House down.”

Mr. McGuire has mentioned there is no such thing as a time for “poisonous infighting that cripples our party and nation” and criticized Mr. Good’s vote to oust Mr. McCarthy.

Mr. Good’s marketing campaign didn’t reply to a request for remark.

It is just not but clear whether or not the Main Street Partnership will goal different Republican incumbents. Ms. Chamberlain mentioned she had thought-about taking intention at Representative Lauren Boebert, the right-wing Republican who’s operating in a crowded major to succeed Representative Ken Buck, who plans to depart Congress subsequent week.

For now, she mentioned she had determined that it could be too costly to attempt to clear the sphere in a race the place Ms. Boebert, who at the moment represents a extra aggressive district in western Colorado, has landed Mr. Trump’s endorsement and nonetheless has a marketing campaign money benefit over the opposite candidates.

But Ms. Chamberlain mentioned she hoped her group may present a protected haven for Republicans who need to give attention to governing at a time when the party is fractured and plenty of lawmakers are uninterested in congressional dysfunction.

On Tuesday, Mr. Buck, a staunch conservative who was additionally one of many eight Republicans who voted to oust Mr. McCarthy, introduced his determination to chop brief his closing time period in Congress, telling reporters that “this place retains going downhill and I don’t must spend extra time right here.”

Others are sticking round with the hopes of a extra practical future. New members of the Main Street Partnership embody Representatives Max Miller of Ohio, a former official within the Trump administration; Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota; Buddy Carter of Georgia; and Andy Barr of Kentucky.

The group can also be conducting a purge of its personal. It just lately kicked out Representative Nancy Mace, Republican of South Carolina, who voted to oust Mr. McCarthy final 12 months and has taken a hard-right flip towards Trumpism as she seems to be to protect her personal political future.



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