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On the right side of the aisle and the wrong side of Trump

A conservative congressman who endorsed Ron DeSantis faces tough primary challenge


Rep. Bob Good, R-Va. at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Getty Images/Photo by Graeme Sloan/Bloomberg

On the right side of the aisle and the wrong side of Trump

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., wants Republican Rep. Bob Good of Virginia out of Congress.

She’s called Good a “traitor” and a “backstabber”—strong words for a fellow Republican with a virtually identical voting record. Good is also the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, the most conservative coalition in the chamber. But Good endorsed someone other than former President Donald J. Trump in the Republican presidential primaries.

“We might have a similar voting record, but he’s a liar,” Greene told me last week. “The day that President Trump was indicted, Bob Good endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis after running for Congress with President Trump’s endorsement. He’s a backstabber. I don’t care how he votes. We can’t have those types of people in President Trump’s next administration serving in Congress.”

Good has been out-fundraised by his Republican challenger, Virginia state House member John McGuire. Without Trump’s endorsement mere days before his primary on Tuesday, Good is running out of time.

The battle over Virginia’s 5th Congressional District has drawn national attention as a test case for what happens when conservative Republicans oppose Trump.

“Bob Good is BAD FOR VIRGINIA, and BAD FOR THE USA,” Trump wrote in a post to Truth Social at the end of May. “He turned his back on our incredible movement and was constantly attacking and fighting me until recently when he gave me a warm and loving endorsement—But really, it was too late!”

McGuire has Trump’s endorsement of him posted to the homepage of his campaign.

Rep. Rich McCormick of Georgia is another one of eight House Republicans who endorsed someone other than Trump for president. Like Good, McCormick supported Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. McCormick ran unopposed in his May 21 primary.

When asked if he thought Trump’s treatment of Good was fair, McCormick said he couldn’t say.

“I don’t want to speak for the former president, and I certainly don’t like the divisive talk,” McCormick said. “[Trump] endorsed against me at one time, and we won. But the president and I are on great terms. The president has been very gracious to me. It’s all about relationships.”

A good relationship with Trump comes with significant upsides for a congressional candidate. McGuire, a former Navy SEAL, raised $959,588 for his campaign in the first six months of 2024. In just one day after receiving Trump’s endorsement on May 28, McGuire added $189,270, according to Federal Election Commission records. Good raised just $113,400 the entire month of May. A poll released by the Faith and Freedom Coalition last week found that McGuire leads Good among primary voters by 41 percent to 31 percent. The remaining respondents were undecided.

“I think Trump is very much into loyalty. He appreciates loyalty,” McCormick said. “That’s why I’m glad he gave me grace, also, but at the same time I have never said a bad word about Trump.”

Rep. Ralph Norman, R-N.C., was the only House Republican to endorse former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley for president.

“I like Bob Good,” Norman said in response to Greene’s comments. “[He’s] doing a good job in the Freedom Caucus. But everyone has got different opinions. We don’t have to agree on 100 percent of the issues. Different people have different motives.”

Norman doesn’t think that all of Good’s election headaches come from Trump. He pointed out that Good made another powerful enemy in former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a prolific fundraiser who has also endorsed McGuire. Good joined a group of eight other Republicans who voted with Democrats last October to unseat McCarthy over frustrations with his efforts to curtail government spending.

“I think that the big thing he wants [out] is Bob Good,” Norman said. “That’s where the money went.”

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, also endorsed DeSantis.

“There are people in this building that want to try to exact some sort of revenge on Bob for trying to hold the line,” Roy said. “Bob is doing what his constituents ask him to do. And that is what it is. This is a long-form story that’s being written as we try to transform this town. Bob is taking the heat and taking all the arrows right now.”

When asked about Greene’s comments, Roy said that’s between her and Good.

“Talk to those two about their personal differences,” Roy said.

He declined to comment on his own relationship with Trump or if he had faced pushback for endorsing DeSantis.

Good himself says he thinks he’s an asset to the former president’s agenda on Capitol Hill. Reporters asked Good on Wednesday if he was disappointed by Trump’s endorsement of McGuire.

“I think that’s the stupidest question I’ve ever been asked,” Good said. “Everyone wants the support of everyone and everyone to endorse them. He made an endorsement decision, and there wasn’t a whole lot to talk about after that decision. I do support Trump as I did in ’16 and ’20 and I’m going to do everything I can to help him win Virginia.”

I asked Good if he thought Greene’s comments were fair in light of his conservative track record.

“That’s silly,” Good replied.


Leo Briceno

Leo is a WORLD politics reporter based in Washington, D.C. He’s a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and has a degree in political journalism from Patrick Henry College.

@_LeoBriceno


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