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Rep. Bob Good

Top Main Street Republicans miffed by growing support for Good’s challenger

When the political arm of the center-right Main Street Caucus endorsed Rep. Bob Good’s (R-Va.) challenger last month, it raised some eyebrows on Capitol Hill.

While the chair of the House Freedom Caucus is far from beloved among pragmatic GOP types, Good’s opponent — MAGA state Sen. John McGuire — doesn’t fit your typical “governing conservative” brand favored by Main Street.

In conversations with top Main Street members, there’s befuddlement about the decision to meddle in Good’s primary. To be clear, the political wing of the Main Street Caucus — the Defending Main Street PAC — operates independently from the official group. But the group’s Hill leaders nevertheless expressed a notable amount of suspicion over the move directed by their off-campus allies.

“I’m certainly not going to give John McGuire any money, I’ll tell you that,” Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), the Main Street chair, told us.

“Sarah’s gonna do what she’s gonna do,” Johnson added, referencing the RMSP CEO, Sarah Chamberlain.

Another Main Street leader, Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), told us he hasn’t been tracking the race closely. But he bemoaned that groups are getting involved in primarying sitting members despite Speaker Mike Johnson’s plea not to do so.

“If everybody’s a free agent, people are going to engage in different places. So everyone plays with the rules as they are and not the rules as they wish they were,” Armstrong said. “At the same time, we got the speaker asking everybody not to go, and we got guys campaigning against [Rep. Tony] Gonzales in Texas too.”

Chamberlain said her organization “spends 99% of our time supporting incumbents in tough races and pragmatic conservatives in open seats.”

“But there are exceptions to every rule. Bob Good is one of those exceptions,” Chamberlain added.

Good’s view: Good is relishing Main Street’s involvement in the race. Good senses an opportunity to use the group as a foil to burnish his conservative bona fides.

“I think the Main Street group should come down and campaign for my opponent. That would really help me,” Good said. “I would owe them an in-kind campaign contribution if they do that.”

Good recently appeared alongside Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Chip Roy (R-Texas), two of the most hardline conservatives in Congress

But despite Good’s far-right policy positions, his early endorsement of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the presidential race has angered former President Donald Trump and his allies. Good endorsed Trump after DeSantis dropped out, but the damage had been done. Trump campaign manager Chris LaCivita has pledged to end Good’s career.

McGuire, who was present at the Jan. 6 Ellipse rally, has received a bevy of support from a number of sitting members who span the House GOP ideological spectrum. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), harboring a grudge after being booted from HFC, is backing McGuire. As is center-right majority-maker Rep. Jen Kiggans (R-Va.), who rarely is on the same side as MTG.

— Max Cohen

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