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Rep. Bob Good

Inside the House Freedom Caucus meltdown

News: The House Freedom Caucus may soon be headed for a shakeup as the group wrestles with its identity after weeks of turmoil.

HFC Chair Bob Good (R-Va.), who lost his primary race to a Trump-backed Republican primary challenger last month, has indicated to members that he plans to step down from his HFC post if he loses a recount, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

Good said he plans to file a recount request this week before the Friday deadline. Good hasn’t said publicly whether he’d step down as HFC chair if he loses.

“Hopefully, things will still go my way and you can ask me if it doesn’t,” Good told us.

A vacancy would set off an immediate scramble for the chairmanship, and some lawmakers are already making their intentions known to colleagues. Among the names that have been floated for the top job: Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.), a pro-Trump freshman who is facing a primary race of his own, and Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), who is respected in the HFC but endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over former President Donald Trump. Roy is currently the HFC’s policy chair.

Members of the HFC have urged Ogles to run, according to a source familiar. Ogles has confirmed he would launch a bid to succeed Good.

Roy declined to comment about the group’s internal affairs when we asked him about his plans.

The potential leadership shuffle comes as the HFC has been bitterly divided. The group is still dealing with the fallout from Monday night’s intense meeting, where multiple members told us emotions were running high as the group narrowly voted to oust Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio.). Davidson endorsed Good’s primary opponent, in part because Good initially endorsed DeSantis.

Not everyone agreed with the decision to boot Davidson. Several unhappy HFC members are now contemplating if they should remain in the group.

Yet whether any other lawmakers decide to quit may depend on whether Good steps aside. Good’s term as chair was supposed to run through the end of 2025, but the Virginia Republican could technically serve as HFC chief until he leaves Congress at the end of this year.

During Monday’s meeting, Davidson defended himself and longtime ally Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

Davidson accused Good of trying to undermine Jordan, who co-founded the HFC in 2015, according to members who were present. Just two weeks ago, Good ousted the executive director of the group’s political arm, a longtime Jordan ally.

Jordan declined to comment on the meeting but reiterated that he was “totally against kicking people out.”

One HFC member said the group is planning to move in “a new direction” by overhauling its fundraising operation and finding a new leader who has been loyal to Trump.

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) confirmed that some members were upset about Davidson’s removal, but defended his vote to oust the Ohio Republican.

“Warren did this to himself,” Norman told us, referring to Davidson’s decision to go after Good.

Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas), who announced his resignation after Davidson was voted out, said he no longer felt aligned with the group after personality clashes distracted from its mission.

“I just didn’t think kicking him out was a very good idea,” Nehls told us. “I said, ‘If you get rid of him then I’ll be resigning.’”

— Melanie Zanona and Mica Soellner

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