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Trump Endorses Freedom Caucus Chairman Challenger Bob Good Ahead of Virginia Primary

WASHINGTON (AP) — The former president donald trump has endorsed the Republican opponent of a Virginia congressman who leads the far-right House Freedom Caucus in what could be a decisive moment in the Republican primary scheduled for June 18.

The endorsement of John McGuire, a state senator, provides a boost for the challenger and could be difficult for two-term incumbent Rep. Bob Good to overcome. The primaries are one of the most followed in the country, since millions of dollars are invested in the race since several groups aligned with the Republicans.

Trump said McGuire, 55, “has my complete and total support! “MAGA2024.” Meanwhile, he calls good as bad for Virginia and bad for America. In the endorsement, posted on Truth Social, Trump said Good was constantly attacking and fighting him until recently, when he gave him a “warm and ‘loving’ endorsement. But in reality, it was too late. The damage has already been done. “

The two candidates have tried to show their loyalty to Trump in the solidly Republican district, but Good, 58, initially endorsed Ron DeSantis in the GOP presidential primary before endorsing Trump. The former president did not forget and took revenge three weeks before the day of the primaries, saying that Good “turned his back on our incredible movement.”

Trump had leaned toward McGuire but had not yet made a decision on his endorsement when he and Good showed up to accompany him to court in New York on May 16, according to a person close to Trump who asked to speak anonymously to share deliberations. private. .

What to know about the 2024 elections

Trump made his decision after weighing both Good’s perceived sins and McGuire’s efforts to go above and beyond for Trump while also proving he was a viable challenger.

Chief among Good’s transgressions was his endorsement of DeSantis, which seemed particularly egregious to Trump and his allies because it came just days after Trump was indicted in the Manhattan hush money case. The timing made it a particularly public and critical display of disloyalty, the person said.

The hush money case was the first of four criminal cases filed against Trump last year.

McGuire has tried to underscore his loyalty to Trump throughout the campaign to draw a contrast between the two candidates, who have similar stances on many political issues.

“Thank you to President Donald J. Trump for supporting my campaign for Congress!” McGuire said in a statement. “I have been with Trump since he came down the escalator and when he is in Congress, I will support his agenda and put America first!”

The good was between the parade of legislators and allies of the Republican Party who have appeared with Trump at his trial in New York City as a sign of support. Both he and McGuire accompanied Trump on the same day. “We’re here to support it,” Good said of the trip.

But McGuire said Trump was right about Good.

“Trump has acknowledged that I am the 100% MAGA candidate in this race and I appreciate that,” McGuire said.

Good said in a statement that he was still confident of victory and that the campaign performed strongly with more than 300 volunteers committed. He cited a number of Republican lawmakers and groups that support his campaign.

“Everyone knows that I am the true conservative in this race and that I am committed to reversing Biden’s agenda and putting America back on track to be great again like it was during President Trump’s first term,” Good said.

Good’s campaign website, even after Trump announced he was endorsing McGuire, still included a large photo of Trump and Good on Tuesday afternoon under the headline: “Who’s Endorsing Bob?”

The website included Trump’s praise for the congressman and noted that the comments were from the 2022 election.

“President Trump has not endorsed this election cycle, but Congressman Good is proud to have endorsed President Trump for re-election in 2024,” the website reads.

Trump has long been irritated by people who seem to give the illusion of having received his coveted endorsement when he has not yet given it.

Good is a fiscal conservative who has pushed for deep spending cuts and was one of eight Republican lawmakers who voted with Democrats to oust then-President Kevin McCarthy. The consequences of that vote are also evident in the congressional race, as groups sympathetic to the former president spend heavily to defeat Good, while others have come to his defense.

About $7.5 million has been spent on campaign ads in the Virginia race through Tuesday, with more than $2 million in ad time booked through June 18, according to media tracking firm AdImpact. This is a large sum for a House race, considering it is not considered a chance for Democrats to win.

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Price reported from New York. Associated Press writer Chad Day contributed to this report.

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