By every measure, Rep. Matt Gaetz won the House Republicans’ civil war with former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
He forced McCarthy out as speaker in favor of Rep. Mike Johnson, who was considered a more conservative option, and McCarthy is now leaving Congress at the end of the year.
But the battles continue, albeit on a different front.
The Washington Examiner reported on Tuesday that Gaetz “is endorsing insurgent candidates in contests where former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) or the National Republican Congressional Committee, the party’s House campaign arm, have thrown their support toward their own candidates of choice.”
“The move places Gaetz once again at odds with the man whose ouster he orchestrated,” the outlet added.
Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican, is at odds with McCarthy and the NRCC in House primaries in at least three states: Ohio, Nevada, and Illinois.
Politico noted in its report on the proxy war between Gaetz and McCarthy that Gaetz is backing J.R. Majewski in Ohio’s 9th District, Elizabeth Helgelien in Nevada’s 3rd District, and Darren Bailey in Illinois’ 12th District.
“The common theme among these candidates who have caught Gaetz’s attention,” Politico noted, “they’re all ultra-conservatives who are running in primaries against candidates backed by McCarthy.”
Gaetz suggested to Politico that his choices were not about McCarthy’s picks.
“He’s old news. Mike Johnson’s speaker now,” he said.
“Primaries are a really important part of the political process,” he added. “It shows the direction the party is moving.”
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