Ken Griffin Funds Bid Against Lawmaker Who Ousted McCarthy

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

(Bloomberg) -- Citadel’s Ken Griffin is funding a push to defeat one of the conservatives behind former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s ouster in a bid to reshape a deeply divided Republican party.

Most Read from Bloomberg

American Patriots PAC, a super PAC also funded by Elliott Investment Management’s Paul Singer, released an ad Tuesday supporting a primary challenger to House Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good. The ad supports John McGuire, a former Navy SEAL, who will face Good in a primary election in Virginia next month.

Good was one of eight Republicans who joined with 208 Democrats to remove McCarthy as speaker in October, paralyzing the House for weeks.

“The American Patriots PAC steadfastly supports veteran candidates who have dedicated themselves to our nation, and John McGuire exemplifies this commitment,” Griffin said in a statement. “It is with pride that I support the American Patriots PAC’s mission of bringing exemplary leaders into Washington.”

The super PAC has booked $3 million in advertising, according to data from AdImpact, a massive sum for a House primary race in central Virginia. Griffin has given American Patriots $6 million, accounting for 83% of total donations for the 2024 election cycle, while Singer contributed $1 million. Griffin gave the group $2.5 million in the 2022 cycle.

The well-funded opposition to Good demonstrates the growing divide between the wealthy donor class and conservative hardliners.

Griffin has said he’s focusing political giving on congressional candidates rather than the presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, giving him an outsized influence on key races. Griffin has said he is also supporting other military veterans running for Congress, including former hedge fund executive David McCormick, who is running for Senate in Pennsylvania, and Jen Kiggans, a House member running for reelection in Virginia.

Both Griffin and Singer are among the GOP’s most prolific political donors. Since 2015, Griffin has donated $233 million to federal candidates and committees, according to OpenSecrets, while Singer has given $89 million.

A representative for Singer did not respond to a request to comment.

Some Republican donors have groused that House members have prioritized embarrassing political squabbles over focusing on tax, trade and other economic policy.

Good became chairman of the powerful House Freedom Caucus in January, a bloc of ultraconservative lawmakers who took the government to the brink of default in May 2023 in a fight over raising the debt ceiling.

The intra-GOP fights don’t appear to be waning. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, said Wednesday she plans to activate a motion to vote on removing McCarthy’s successor, Speaker Mike Johnson. Democrats have pledged to support Johnson, likely giving him the votes he needs to keep his job.

Good’s district is a solidly Republican seat, meaning that whichever candidate wins the primary will likely win the general election in November.

(Updates with details on Griffin’s past donations in fifth paragraph, other candidates he’s supporting in the seventh)

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.