Members of the House Freedom Caucus elected Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) to serve as the group’s next chairman, elevating the Virginia Republican to chief of the conservative group that has a long tradition of being a thorn in the side of House GOP leadership.
The right-wing group, which consists of around three dozen members, chose Good to be its next leader during a closed-door meeting Monday night, a source told The Hill. The role is currently held by Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.).
Its selection of Good, one of the eight Republicans who voted to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), confirms the Freedom Caucus’s embrace of hardline, confrontational tactics that have been its hallmark since its inception in 2015.
But it also shows that the Freedom Caucus is willing to elevate members who are not loyalists to former President Trump. Good, who still praises Trump, has endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for president.
The Freedom Caucus is often at the center of legislative fights, but its rabble-rousing members are not a monolith. And Good’s election did not come without some internal drama about the tactics that the group uses.
Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) said he would not seek re-election to the Freedom Caucus Board after it recommended Good to be the group’s next chairman, according to a letter sent to colleagues and reported by Axios hours before the vote.
“I am concerned that our group often relies too much on power (available primarily due to the narrow majority) and too little on influence with and among our colleagues. This approach is not a strong foundation for success,” Davidson wrote. “For me these concerns culminate with the Board’s recommendation that Bob Good serve as the next Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.”
Davidson declined to discuss internal dynamics, only saying that he did send a letter to colleagues, but elaborated on the group’s influence more broadly.
“I think the real opportunity for us is to be more persuasive with our colleagues, to understand why we have the positions we have,” Davidson said. “They’ll inherently agree with us on some positions. But I think sometimes, you know, we should do more to make sure people understand that there’s merit behind the positions that the group has taken.”
Good, for his part, said ahead of his election that the idea that the Freedom Caucus is not doing enough to build influence among the rest of the Republican caucus is “demonstrably false.”
Perry, the outgoing chairman, brushed off the criticisms from Warren without directly addressing them.
“I don’t know if this is a newsflash for you, but people around here don’t always agree on everything,” Perry said.
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.), who is leaving the House after next year as he runs for North Carolina Attorney General, signaled that he disagreed with Davidson’s assessment.
“I think it’s easy to find oneself in a contradiction, a self-contradiction,” Bishop said. “Those categorical assertions sometimes don’t hold up. I don’t want to get into a detailed debate with my good, very good friend Warren Davidson on that point, but obviously there have been disagreements.”
Good was the only lawmaker officially on the ballot to be the group’s next chairman after he received support from the Freedom Caucus Board, according to Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.). Warren, in the letter reported by Axios, said that he did not have an alternative nominee in mind.
Good has emerged as one of the more outspoken — and rabble-rousing — Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus, frequently bucking his party on votes and pushing leadership to the right.
In addition to being one of the eight Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy from the Speakership this year — a move that plunged the House into three weeks of chaos and brought legislative business in the chamber to a screeching halt — Good has been at the center of other major legislative fights.
The Virginia Republican also helped tank two of the four rules that failed on the House floor this year, including the revolt in June that brought the chamber to a standstill for roughly a week. That vote marked the first time since 2002 that a rule failed on the House floor.
Davidson’s disagreement about Good’s election is also not the only internal drama the Freedom Caucus has faced this year.
Over the summer, the group moved to oust firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) from its ranks, in part over her support for a debt limit increase deal struck by McCarthy; a profanity-laced confrontation with Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) on the House floor; and her close relationship with McCarthy despite the group’s natural antagonism toward leadership.
Greene similarly took a swipe at the group’s tactics after her ouster.
“I’m not a member of the burn-it-all-down caucus anymore,” Greene told reporters. “I’m a greatly, very happily a free agent and I want to do my job here.”
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This story originally Appeared on The Hill