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Club for Growth doles out $20M to protect conservative House Republicans who opposed McCarthy speakership


The conservative organization Club for Growth announced a $20 million commitment to help re-elect the 20 House Republicans who pushed back on against House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s bid for the speakership earlier this year. 

In a recent memo, Club for Growth Action said it is “prepared to spend $20 million in defense of the Patriot 20, the group of members who fought to advance conservative priorities and establish a more transparent and accountable legislative process in the House during the Speaker negotiations in January.” 

“As the largest conservative political action committee, we helped elect 17 of these 20 members to Congress and are determined to make sure they have the support necessary to win their primaries and beat Democrat challengers,” Club for Growth Action President David McIntosh wrote in a July 20 memo to investors. 

“Moderate donor networks are already working to enact retribution against these conservative members who they perceive to be vulnerable to a primary challenge,” he said. “Making our financial commitment public may serve as an effective deterrent to some potential challengers. These funds will also allow us to run aggressive independent expenditures targeting moderates who eventually emerge to primary any of these members.” 


Boebert and Perry speak to each other during a House oversight hearing

Reps. Lauren Boebert and Scott Perry speak during a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing on Wednesday, July 19, 2023. Both are included in the conservative group Club for Growth’s Patriot 20. (Haiyun Jiang/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Those 20 Republicans are Reps. Eli Crane, Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar of Arizona; Lauren Boebert of Colorado; Matt Gaetz, Anna Paulina Luna and Byron Donalds of Florida; Andrew Clyde of Georgia; Mary Miller of Illinois; Andy Harris of Maryland; Matt Rosendale of Montana; Dan Bishop of North Carolina; Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma; Scott Perry of Pennsylvania; Ralph Norman of South Carolina; Andy Ogles of Tennessee; Keith Self, Chip Roy and Michael Cloud of Texas; and Bob Good of Virginia. 

Club for Growth said its first priority is retaining the five freshman members of the Patriot 20, as first-term incumbents are often perceived as more vulnerable. 

They are Crane, Luna, Brecheen, Ogles and Self. 

Rep. Gaetz during Speakership fight

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., exchanges words with Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., after Gaetz voted present, on the14th ballot in which McCarthy did not receive enough votes to be elected Speaker of House on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“Moderate donors and candidates seeking to settle scores should save their money, because we are prepared to win at all costs,” the memo said. “We have a proven track record of success in these races, as evidenced by our investment of over $8.1 million to elect” Brecheen, Luna and Ogles during the last election cycle. 


The second priority listed is protecting the 15 other conservative Republicans. 

“We are closely monitoring the re-election efforts of each conservative incumbent and will not hesitate to make independent expenditures to defeat moderate challengers,” the memo said. “We will not compromise in our defense of these members.” 

McCarthy cheers during speakership fight

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., reacts during a vote to adjourn following a day of votes for the new Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 4, 2023. McCarthy failed to earn more than 218 votes on six ballots over two days, the first time in 100 years that the Speaker was not elected on the first ballot. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The memo noted how the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has already announced plans to target congressional districts represented by Boebert, Luna and Perry. 


“Our primary role in the general election will be to help level the playing field against the Democrats’ spending advantage. We will do this by making independent expenditures with respect to conservative candidates targeted by the DCCC,” the organization wrote. 

As an example, the memo said the last time “one of our conservative champions was seriously threatened in a general election,” was 2020 when they designated $6.4 million to help Roy.

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