McCarthy Facing Primary Challenge by MAGA Republican

By Jerry McConway, updated on October 31, 2023

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) just suffered through one of the most embarrassing experiences in politics.

After waiting his entire career to get the gavel, he held it only for a few months, being ousted after a motion to vacate was floored by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

Even though Trump had endorsed McCarthy as Speaker, he has been identified by MAGA as an enemy, so now he is being primaried in the upcoming 2024 election.

Talking Points…

  • McCarthy's downfall
  • The challenger
  • My Two Cents…

McCarthy's Downfall

Kevin McCarthy clearly thought that once he had the gavel, he could not be touched, but new rules that were put in place as a concession to MAGA Republicans came back to haunt him.

McCarthy has made several concessions to Joe Biden that did not sit well with MAGA, so Gaetz made the motion to vacate.

Even then, McCarthy did not seem worried, and this was likely because the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus appeared to have agreed to back McCarthy for the floor vote, which would have offset the MAGA Republicans voting to oust McCarthy.

Minority Leader Jeffries (D-N.Y.), however, met with the Democrat members of that caucus and when the vote was made, every Democrat member of the Problem Solvers Caucus voted to have McCarthy removed.

Jeffries sold this as an extremist wing of the GOP creating chaos in the House during a time of crisis, but we cannot forget the role that Jeffries played here.

He had a very unique opportunity to put MAGA down and, for once, to show unity in the House among the parties for the greater good, but he ordered his entire caucus to vote with the very people that he had labeled as extremists.

The Challenger

Small business owner David Giglio has decided to mount a primary challenge against McCarthy now that he is vulnerable.

Giglio openly called himself an "American First Republican," clearly trying to draw in the attention of Trump for a primary endorsement, but I am not so sure Trump will endorse him over McCarthy.

Trump always talks about loyalty, and backing McCarthy's challenger in a primary race would be the ultimate betrayal, as would a non-endorsement by Trump.

Giglio stated:

"Kevin McCarthy has failed the American people. I am excited to announce my campaign to defeat Kevin McCarthy in California's 20th Congressional District. After years of being sold out to special interests, the people of the Central Valley deserve an America First Republican fighting for them in Washington and working alongside President Donald Trump to WAGE WAR against the corrupt uniparty!

"Kevin McCarthy was removed as Speaker by 8 courageous members of his party for failing to keep to his promises and capitulating to Joe Biden and the radical Democrats. Kevin McCarthy must be defeated."

My Two Cents…

First and foremost, we have to see where Trump falls in this race or if he decides to sit this one out and wait for the primary to be over.

This challenge, however, is a no-win situation for Trump. If he ignores Giglio, he is turning his back on a MAGA candidate, and the same can be said if he endorses McCarthy in the race over the MAGA candidate.

If Trump endorses MAGA, Giglio will make him out to be a fraud, but if Trump does not endorse McCarthy, the loyalty Trump talks about so much is then called into question. So, somehow, this race has become a measuring stick for Trump.

Second, McCarthy is a fundraising machine, which is why most in the party kiss up to him. He is a legend when it comes to raising money, and everyone has their hand out for a share of the pie, which gets slapped away if you do not kiss the ring.

Giglio is going to have a hard time matching McCarthy's bankroll, which means McCarthy can pretty much drown him out with ads and rallies as they head into the primary.

I don't expect Giglio to have a successful run against McCarthy, but the Trump aspect of this is what makes the race far more interesting than it would normally be.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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