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‘Commonsense’ GOP group jumps into open primaries

With more than two dozen safe-seat House Republicans heading for the exits this year, there’s a real opportunity to shape the next generation of the House GOP Conference. And the “pro-governance” Republican Main Street Partnership is trying to seize the moment by aggressively playing in open-seat primaries.

Defending Main Street — the RMSP’s super PAC — is pledging to spend $3 million in Republican primaries this cycle.

The RMSP is rolling out a slate of endorsements today for Republicans running on the platform of actually governing.

In open House races, the group is backing Mike Rulli to succeed former Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio); Craig Goldman to replace retiring House Appropriations Committee Chair Kay Granger (R-Texas) and Riley Moore in Rep. Alex Mooney’s (R-W.VA.) old seat.

Over in the Senate, RMSP is endorsing former Gov. Larry Hogan in Maryland, Gov. Jim Justice in West Virginia and Rep. John Curtis in Utah.

Groups like the RMSP, which bills itself as the pro-governance wing of the GOP, want to send more members to Washington who’ll work to achieve realistic conservative policy outcomes. Think of the group as the counterbalance to the House Freedom Caucus.

Of course, the current House Republican majority has been riddled with dysfunction. This chaos is largely thanks to hardline conservatives, who ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and consistently demand unrealistic policy positions.

As a result, more establishment members of the House GOP — including multiple committee chairs — are ditching the chamber. The departures include prominent RMSP members like House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), China Select Committee Chair Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.).

While much has been made of a so-called revenge tour aimed at unseating Republicans who voted to oust former McCarthy, RMSP is currently more interested in playing in open-seat primaries. But that could change, as some GOP election observers see primary vulnerabilities for Reps. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) and Bob Good (R-Va.).

— Max Cohen

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Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.