Trump’s Endorsement Gambit: McGuire and Good Locked in Tight Virginia Primary

Trump's Endorsement Gambit McGuire and Good Locked in Tight Virginia Primary

Donald Trump’s retribution tour came to a halt in Virginia on Tuesday night during the state’s primary.

The former president endorsed retired Navy SEAL John McGuire, a Republican state senator and challenger against incumbent Bob Good, after committing the unpardonable sin of supporting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the Republican presidential primary.

Both Virginians had fought for Trump’s favor and, in a sitcom-worthy sequence, attended Trump’s hush money trial in New York on the same day last month in a bid to win it. As of Wednesday morning, things were not going well for the MAGA contender. McGuire led by only 309 votes, and the contest is still too close to call – hardly the kind of blowout that a Trump-backed candidate should enjoy, even in a rural county with plenty of deep red pockets.

It’s a surprising result, given that the odds appeared to be stacked against Good. Not only was Trump against him, but so was former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, whose political action committee contributed $10,000 to McGuire. That money was retaliation for Good joining Matt Gaetz and six other Republicans in ousting McCarthy as speaker back in October.

Good should have fit the MAGA mold perfectly since he resembles many of the Tea Party zealots who ruled the conservative wing of the House Republican conference long before Trump arrived.

He defeated an incumbent Republican in the 2020 race who had officiated at a same-sex wedding. A year later, Good stated on the House floor, “Nearly everything that plagues our society can be attributed to a failure to follow God’s law and his rules for and definition of marriage and family.”

But Trump turned against him after he endorsed DeSantis. Good was also captured on camera last year in a private conversation suggesting that Trump could lose to Biden.

However, the Good-McGuire race demonstrates that Trump cannot always decisively smite and eliminate his imagined opponents in order to fill Republican ranks with acolytes.

It also appears that a sizable number of people in Good’s area appreciate how he continually holds Republican leadership accountable. Far from being punished for voting against Republican policies and generating stalemate in the House, Tuesday’s primary results demonstrate that many voters want to reward his actions by keeping him in Washington.

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If Good wins the primary, he is expected to retain his House seat for Republicans in November. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report classifies the seat as “safe Republican.”

While this is good news for House Republicans, a victory would be disastrous for Trump.

If Trump wins and Republicans take control of the House, Good will not feel compelled to follow suit if he believes he is violating conservative beliefs. Good has repeatedly voted against Republican spending legislation and even opposed providing help to Israel, despite Republicans’ usually continuous support.
Fiscal discipline and balanced budgets are good examples of classic conservative beliefs.

In a possible Trump administration, Good will not support the former president if he believes Trump’s spending measures will break the budget.

However, the Virginia congressman’s number is shrinking; even Republicans who once objected about debt ceiling rises, such as Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, now vote for them without consequence. Their loyalty to Trump protects them from criticism. Conservatives like Ken Buck in Colorado and Justin Amash in Michigan, who were concerned with fiscal values rather than Trump’s grandstanding or election denial, are no longer among us.


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