Politics

After crossing Trump and McCarthy, GOP Rep. Good stares down possible primary foe

Rep. Bob Good endorsed Ron DeSantis over Donald Trump, then joined the rebellion that ousted Kevin McCarthy as speaker. Now one of the more unpopular House Republicans may get a viable GOP primary challenger.

John McGuire, a former Navy SEAL turned Virginia state delegate, is expected to announce a bid against Good (R-Va.) in the coming weeks, according to two Republicans with direct knowledge who were granted anonymity to address the future campaign.

There’s no sign that McGuire has coordinated his efforts with either Trump or McCarthy, despite Good’s recent antagonism of both powerful Republicans. But his candidacy nonetheless aligns with the interests of Trump and McCarthy allies who hope to exact revenge against Good, a Freedom Caucus hardliner who’s made his fair share of enemies in the House GOP.

Good joined seven other House Republicans last month to boot McCarthy from the speakership, after previously blocking the California Republican from the gavel for 15 grueling ballots in January. Perhaps, then, the former speaker’s sarcastic reaction to McGuire’s potential challenge was predictable.

“Really? I’m shocked,” McCarthy replied sarcastically when asked about Good’s potential GOP opponent in Virginia’s red-leaning 5th District. “You mean the military guy? I heard something about him.”

Asked if he might get involved in the race, McCarthy said: “I don’t know. I have to study all these. Prior to being the speaker, I couldn’t get engaged in races. But I’m a free agent now.”

McCarthy also pointed to the “lot of money” that his onetime fundraising juggernaut pumped into Good’s 2022 reelection. (The former speaker publicly cited the millions of dollars he’d bestowed upon Good one year ago, while working to lock down support to lead the House GOP — even as Good told reporters that “Kevin McCarthy has not done anything to earn my vote.”)

A representative for McGuire declined to comment on his pending bid.

Not to mention that Good has potentially courted the wrath of Trump by becoming an early endorser of Ron DeSantis, whose White House primary bid is sputtering behind the front-running former president’s. The Virginian’s endorsement of DeSantis came after Good had already received Trump’s endorsement, creating an appearance of disloyalty that has agitated allies of the former president.

“Bob Good took Trump’s endorsement, ran on his name, ran on his policies and got elected. He also took all the fundraising that Kevin McCarthy worked hard to give him, happily took that money. Then he turns his back on everybody and stabs people in the back and the front,” said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), a close Trump ally. “And is it a surprise he’s facing a primary challenger? Not at all.”

Good’s district swung towards Trump by eight percentage points in 2022. Asked if Trump attacks could hurt his reelection, Greene replied: “It’s gonna pose a major problem for Bob Good. There’s a lot of people that don’t like him.”

Of course, frustration among Trump allies doesn’t necessarily mean the former president would jump in himself against Good, even though McGuire is a staunch Trump supporter. Trump has stayed more cautious recently about wading into lower-tier races where his endorsement may result in a loss.

And Good, despite backing DeSantis over Trump because he wants the chance for “eight years of Republican leadership in the White House,” argues he is no Trump critic.

“I challenge you or anyone else to find my criticism of Donald Trump,” he said in a brief interview.

Asked if he worried about Trump or McCarthy going after him, Good replied: “Certainly not the [former] president. But I don’t want to comment on anybody else.”

Many of Good’s House GOP colleagues, while praising his intelligence, say he’s more inclined to tee off on fellow Republicans than try to find solutions to intra-party problems. Some of his colleagues on the right adore him for it, but others in the party have given him the nickname “Bob Bad.”

Whether that antipathy toward Good would result in House Republicans turning against him during a tough 2024 election cycle is another question. While he has a meager $168,000 cash on hand available, the powerful Club for Growth has already vowed to help Good and the other Republicans who challenged McCarthy in January.

Good also has the power of incumbency and name recognition in the area. Working against him in a potential battle against McGuire: The prospects of the race getting converted to a formal primary instead of a convention format that’s open to a much smaller number of voters — and which Good has previously benefited from.

Good claimed the seat by defeating former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) in 2020. Riggleman argued at the time that he was beaten by a convention process that Good’s allies had effectively hijacked after he infuriated the right wing of the state GOP by officiating a same-sex wedding.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated the state-level office that McGuire holds.

Rep. Bob Good endorsed Ron DeSantis over Donald Trump, then joined the rebellion that ousted Kevin McCarthy as speaker. Now one of the more unpopular House Republicans may get a viable GOP primary challenger.
John McGuire, a former Navy SEAL turned Virginia state delegate, is expected to announce a bid against Good (R-Va.) in the coming weeks, according to two Republicans with direct knowledge who were granted anonymity to address the future campaign.
There’s no sign that McGuire has coordinated his efforts with either Trump or McCarthy, despite Good’s recent antagonism of both powerful Republicans. But his candidacy nonetheless aligns with the interests of Trump and McCarthy allies who hope to exact revenge against Good, a Freedom Caucus hardliner who’s made his fair share of enemies in the House GOP.
Good joined seven other House Republicans last month to boot McCarthy from the speakership, after previously blocking the California Republican from the gavel for 15 grueling ballots in January. Perhaps, then, the former speaker’s sarcastic reaction to McGuire’s potential challenge was predictable.
“Really? I’m shocked,” McCarthy replied sarcastically when asked about Good’s potential GOP opponent in Virginia’s red-leaning 5th District. “You mean the military guy? I heard something about him.”
Asked if he might get involved in the race, McCarthy said: “I don’t know. I have to study all these. Prior to being the speaker, I couldn’t get engaged in races. But I’m a free agent now.”
McCarthy also pointed to the “lot of money” that his onetime fundraising juggernaut pumped into Good’s 2022 reelection. (The former speaker publicly cited the millions of dollars he’d bestowed upon Good one year ago, while working to lock down support to lead the House GOP — even as Good told reporters that “Kevin McCarthy has not done anything to earn my vote.”)
A representative for McGuire declined to comment on his pending bid.
Not to mention that Good has potentially courted the wrath of Trump by becoming an early endorser of Ron DeSantis, whose White House primary bid is sputtering behind the front-running former president’s. The Virginian’s endorsement of DeSantis came after Good had already received Trump’s endorsement, creating an appearance of disloyalty that has agitated allies of the former president.
“Bob Good took Trump’s endorsement, ran on his name, ran on his policies and got elected. He also took all the fundraising that Kevin McCarthy worked hard to give him, happily took that money. Then he turns his back on everybody and stabs people in the back and the front,” said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), a close Trump ally. “And is it a surprise he’s facing a primary challenger? Not at all.”
Good’s district swung towards Trump by eight percentage points in 2022. Asked if Trump attacks could hurt his reelection, Greene replied: “It’s gonna pose a major problem for Bob Good. There’s a lot of people that don’t like him.”
Of course, frustration among Trump allies doesn’t necessarily mean the former president would jump in himself against Good, even though McGuire is a staunch Trump supporter. Trump has stayed more cautious recently about wading into lower-tier races where his endorsement may result in a loss.
And Good, despite backing DeSantis over Trump because he wants the chance for “eight years of Republican leadership in the White House,” argues he is no Trump critic.
“I challenge you or anyone else to find my criticism of Donald Trump,” he said in a brief interview.
Asked if he worried about Trump or McCarthy going after him, Good replied: “Certainly not the [former] president. But I don’t want to comment on anybody else.”
Many of Good’s House GOP colleagues, while praising his intelligence, say he’s more inclined to tee off on fellow Republicans than try to find solutions to intra-party problems. Some of his colleagues on the right adore him for it, but others in the party have given him the nickname “Bob Bad.”
Whether that antipathy toward Good would result in House Republicans turning against him during a tough 2024 election cycle is another question. While he has a meager $168,000 cash on hand available, the powerful Club for Growth has already vowed to help Good and the other Republicans who challenged McCarthy in January.
Good also has the power of incumbency and name recognition in the area. Working against him in a potential battle against McGuire: The prospects of the race getting converted to a formal primary instead of a convention format that’s open to a much smaller number of voters — and which Good has previously benefited from.
Good claimed the seat by defeating former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) in 2020. Riggleman argued at the time that he was beaten by a convention process that Good’s allies had effectively hijacked after he infuriated the right wing of the state GOP by officiating a same-sex wedding.
Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated the state-level office that McGuire holds.  

Related Posts

1 of 1,393

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *