Former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA), once a member of the Freedom Caucus, is leading a newly formed political action committee called Mission Democracy PAC. The group’s primary goal is “stopping MAGA” and ousting several conservative House members. While Riggleman and his associates claim they intend to save democracy, their efforts will only endanger the unity of the Republican Party.
Mission Democracy PAC intends to challenge conservative members in their home districts by running ads and messaging campaigns accusing them of holding extreme positions. The group currently has over $500,000 in the bank and plans to raise $18 million for the 2024 election cycle. However, despite the ambitious financial goal, some might argue that the cost of such divisive action could be much higher regarding party cohesion.
New PAC led by ex-Freedom Caucus' Riggleman focused on 'ending MAGA,' ousting Greene, Gaetz, more https://t.co/a6rDYTg8Nx#jdata
— Robert Johnson ULTRAMAGA (@jdata17) April 21, 2023
Riggleman has teamed up with former Trump administration official Olivia Troye and Democrat Marcus Flowers, an Army veteran who lost his bid to oust Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) by 32 percentage points in last year’s primary election. The group’s targets include prominent conservatives such as Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Scott Perry (R-PA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ).
The targeted House members come from heavily Republican districts, most winning their previous elections by more than 30 percentage points. Flowers’ loss to Greene demonstrated that even significant financial support might not be enough to oust these conservative politicians.
While the PAC claims its objective is to defeat “the worst of the worst,” the reality is that they’re undermining the Republican Party from within. By pouring money and negative advertising into these races, they force politicians to spend more time defending their seats, raising money, and campaigning at home rather than focusing on national issues and promoting party unity. Such a strategy, especially when carried out by a former Freedom Caucus member like Riggleman, could be considered a betrayal by other conservatives.
It’s important to consider whether these divisive efforts are worth the cost. Although organizations like the Lincoln Project have raised millions of dollars targeting America First Republicans, the leaders of Mission Democracy PAC may need to reflect on the potential long-term consequences of their actions. If their goal is indeed to preserve democracy, they should carefully weigh the impact of their campaign on the very unity that is vital for the successful functioning of any political party.
Denver Riggleman and his Mission Democracy PAC may claim to have the best intentions. Still, their strategy of targeting conservative members of the Republican Party poses a real threat to party unity.