8 Conservative House Candidates Who Must Win Their Primaries

The 2024 election cycle will be about many things, from the Biden regime’s overt authoritarianism to retribution against political and legal persecution. President Trump’s comeback candidacy will be a perfect representation of these broader existential issues at the core of the campaign.

But the down-ballot races should be about something just as important as defeating our enemies on the Left. Just as in 2022, the races for Congress should be about an ideological purging of the Republican Party. As the already razor-thin majority in the House of Representatives has proven, a “majority” doesn’t mean much if we are still at the mercy of establishment moderates, RINOs, and outright NeverTrumpers.

Whether or not the GOP will hold the House remains completely up in the air, independent of President Trump’s performance. But if we are to have a hope of even beginning to finally accomplish his America First agenda, we need to make sure that the right candidates win where it matters the most: Not in the general elections, but in the primaries.

Here is a short list of some of the best candidates who must be supported in their primary bids for Congress, many of them challenging or seeking to replace RINOs whose time should have come long ago.

Mark Harris: North Carolina 8

The 2018 midterm cycle saw Democrats roll out some of their most devious tactics for stealing elections from Republicans. In California, the state Democratic Party fully weaponized a law that had been passed in late 2016 to legalize third-party ballot-harvesting, using it to steal seven congressional seats, as well as three State Senate seats and five State Assembly seats.

But on the opposite side of the country, Democrats in one particularly close House district engaged in the ultimate act of projection to stop a conservative warrior from taking office: Pastor Mark Harris.

After successfully defeating incumbent Robert Pittenger in the primary, Harris ran an unapologetic campaign of social conservatism, rooted in his Christian faith. His record spoke for itself: He was a leading advocate for Amendment 1 in 2012, a ballot referendum to ban same-sex marriage in the state. The measure passed by an overwhelming 61-39% margin, and was the last such measure to be passed by voters in any state before the Supreme Court’s disastrous Obergefell ruling in 2015. He was also an outspoken opponent of abortion, and a supporter of the state’s well-known “bathroom bill” against transgenderism.

Terrified at the prospect of such a conservative outsider coming to Congress, Democrats baselessly accused him of that which they themselves are most guilty: Voter fraud. The allegations focused on political consultant Leslie Dowless, who was accused of engaging in ballot-harvesting which allegedly made the difference in the race, which Harris won by 905 votes. In the end, Harris was cleared of any wrongdoing, while Dowless, though ultimately found not guilty of any such voter fraud, was given the Paul Manafort treatment and sentenced to prison for unrelated fraud charges. Dowless passed away in 2022.

Following the controversy, the corrupt Board of Elections refused to certify Harris as the winner and called for a new election, in which Harris chose not to run due to health concerns at the time. That election was ultimately won by Dan Bishop, the current occupant of the district, who is now retiring from Congress to run for Attorney General of North Carolina.

Harris has announced his candidacy for the seat in 2024. Like President Trump, he is a man who was falsely accused and denied his office solely for committing the “crime” of being a political outsider and unapologetic conservative, despite ultimately being vindicated in the end. Pastor Harris deserves his chance to take the fight to Congress at long last.

Mark Houck: Pennsylvania 1

Another pastor who has faced unprecedented oppression from the elite, Pastor Mark Houck made headlines when his house was raided by dozens of armed FBI agents in September 2022, who arrested him at gunpoint in front of his screaming family.

His “crime?”

A prior protest outside of an abortion clinic that had led to federal charges…which had already been thrown out by a judge.

In 2021, while Houck and his son were peacefully protesting outside of an abortion clinic in Philadelphia, a pro-abortion activist accosted them and began harassing them, focusing on Houck’s young son in particular. Houck, defending his son from the older man, shoved the man away. For this action, he was accused of violating the FACE Act – a federal law which essentially criminalizes protests outside of abortion clinics.

However, the first attempt to charge Houck under this law failed when a federal judge dismissed the case outright in April of 2022. As such, the sudden revival of these charges and aggressive arrest of Houck by Biden’s increasingly-politicized DOJ drew widespread condemnation. Houck was ultimately found not guilty in January of 2023.

As one of many victims of the Deep State, Houck is now running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 1st district, a swing seat that is currently held by Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.). Fitzpatrick is a known anti-Trump Republican, having admitted to not voting for Trump in 2016. Following the peaceful protests on January 6, Fitzpatrick introduced a resolution to censure President Trump, and also voted with 34 other Republicans in favor of creating a January 6 commission.

There could not be a greater contrast between an incumbent RINO and an insurgent challenger who has been personally victimized by Biden’s Deep State in the most egregious of ways. Houck’s persecution represents the regime’s efforts to target all political opponents, from January 6 protesters to pro-life advocates. The greatest middle finger to these blatant suppression and intimidation efforts would be to send such a man into Congress to take action against them more directly.

Brandon Herrera: Texas 23

Like Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania’s 1st district, another RINO who has proven his disloyalty to the conservative base one too many times is Texas’ Tony Gonzales, in the 23rd district.

Gonzales, despite his district encompassing much of the state’s southern border with Mexico, has remained frustratingly lenient on immigration, repeatedly voicing his support for greater expansion of work visas.

On the issue of the Second Amendment, Gonzales was one of just 14 Republicans in the House who voted in favor of Biden’s sweeping gun control bill after a school shooting in Texas in May of 2022. He also voted in favor of the “Respect for Marriage Act,” a bill that repealed the Defense of Marriage Act and sought to enshrine the so-called “right” to same-sex marriage; he was one of 47 House Republicans to do so.

His stances have proven so intolerable that, in a rare rebuke from his own party, the Texas GOP voted in March of 2023 to censure Gonzales for his gun control vote and same-sex marriage vote.

While there are four challengers seeking to unseat Gonzales next year, one candidate stands out in particular: Brandon Herrera, a Second Amendment advocate most well-known for his firearms-based YouTube channel, “The AK Guy.” Herrera was one of the earliest outspoken supporters of Kyle Rittenhouse ahead of his trial, and as such has already been endorsed by Rittenhouse, as well as the National Association for Gun Rights.

Yet another outsider with a solid grasp on core issues like the Second Amendment, Herrera is the perfect candidate to replace Gonzales and give the residents of this crucial border district a real representative in Congress.

Chris Mathys: California 22

One highlight of the otherwise-mediocre 2022 midterm election cycle was the righteous cleansing of the GOP through one key metric: Those who supported the second impeachment of President Trump. Of the 10 Republicans in the House who voted in favor of it, eight were out of office by January of 2023, either by forced retirement or humiliating primary defeats.

One of the only two left in Congress is David Valadao, in California’s 22nd district. And he remains even despite the fact that, technically speaking, he also lost the primary last time around.

Due to California’s “blanket primary” system, all candidates from every party run in the primary, where the top two candidates advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation. Whereas Valadao was previously unchallenged as the Republican candidate in every election before 2022, his impeachment vote led to widespread discontent among his own constituents, and he earned himself two challengers: Former Fresno city councilor Chris Mathys and Kings County Board of Education trustee Adam Medeiros. 

In that primary, while sole Democratic candidate Rudy Salas came in first, Valadao came in second with just 25.6% of the vote. Right behind him, with 23.4%, was Mathys. Medeiros finished in a distant fourth with 5.8%. Thus, if it had been a one-on-one between Valadao and either Mathys or Medeiros individually, the math shows that Valadao would have ultimately lost.

Now, Mathys is back for another run against Valadao, with no other Republican challengers in sight. With his near-upset win in 2022, Mathys has proven that he has what it takes to challenge Valadao. As an outspoken supporter of President Trump, Mathys presents a stark contrast to one of the last bastions of the anti-Trump GOP, and is exactly what voters need in the 22nd district.

Jerrod Sessler: Washington 4

In 2022, the 4th district in Washington state unfolded very much like the aforementioned 22nd district in California. The only other pro-impeachment Republican still in Congress besides Valadao, Dan Newhouse, remains in his seat despite garnering a mere 25.5% of the primary vote in 2022.

This was due to the fact that, like the opposition to Valadao, the anti-Newhouse coalition could not unite behind a single candidate. Instead, six candidates challenged Newhouse from his right, while only a single Democrat joined the race. Not surprisingly, Newhouse and the Democrat, Doug White, advanced to the general election with the top two percentages.

Between the six other candidates, a staggering 49.3% of Republican voters in the 4th district voted against Newhouse: 74,140 total votes, compared to Newhouse’s 38,331. The next-highest candidate, former gubernatorial nominee Loren Culp, received 21.6% after being endorsed by President Trump; he received 5,000 votes less than White, and roughly 6,000 votes less than Newhouse.

In fourth place, with 12.3% (over 18,000 votes) was former NASCAR driver Jerrod Sessler, who has declared his candidacy for the same seat once again. This time around, he is the only Republican challenger against Newhouse, and as such has already begun receiving support from county GOP central committees within the district.

Like Mathys against Valadao, Sessler has a chance to right the wrongs of a split anti-incumbent vote from 2022, and finally purge Congress of one of the last of its most anti-Trump members.

Joe Kent: Washington 3

One of the most frustrating instances of “defeat being snatched from the jaws of victory” in 2022 was the contentious 3rd district of Washington. Like Newhouse, then-incumbent Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) was one of the 10 who voted in favor of Trump’s second impeachment. She even went above and beyond by volunteering to testify in the Senate trial, repeatedly claiming, without evidence, to have inside information regarding an alleged phone call between Trump and then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on January 6.

For her treachery, Beutler was ultimately defeated in 2022 by former Green Beret Joe Kent, who was endorsed by President Trump. Like in California, Washington’s blanket primary system saw Kent narrowly come in second with 22.8% to Beutler’s 22.3%, a margin of just under 1,100 votes. But when Kent faced off against the sole Democrat, Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, in November, she won an upset victory with 50.1% to Kent’s 49.3%, winning by less than 3,000 votes.

As Beutler still received 49,000 votes in the primary, it is not far-fetched to imagine that the main reason for Kent’s loss was a small handful of spiteful Beutler supporters, clearly in opposition to President Trump, casting their votes for the Democrat just to deny the Trump-endorsed Kent his victory.

Kent is running again for the same seat, and already has the support of two of the district’s county GOPs, as well as the Washington State GOP. As an outsider and a veteran with a strong personal motivation for taking on the Deep State and the military-industrial complex, Kent deserves a second chance.

J.R. Majewski: Ohio 9

A recurring theme with this list is that many of the candidates listed were wronged in their past attempts to win, either by outright smears or by narrowly being denied their electoral victory by other candidates. One such example in America’s heartland is J.R. Majewski, in the 9th district of Ohio.

Having first gone viral for his pro-Trump lawn art, Majewski earned Trump’s support in his first bid for the seat in 2022, where he narrowly defeated an establishment Republican and former state legislator with anti-Trump sentiments.

Then, in his general election campaign against incumbent Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), the mainstream media suddenly began latching onto a smear campaign against Majewski, using the ambiguity of the term “combat veteran” to accuse him of stolen valor and lying about his service record in Afghanistan. In the end, despite Majewski’s insistence that he had not fabricated any details of his record, he ultimately lost to Kaptur in November.

Now, after initially announcing and then withdrawing from a second bid for the seat, Majewski re-entered the race in October after he was vindicated: The U.S. Air Force issued a correction to Majewski’s record and even gave him another medal. His comeback bid has since garnered support from the likes of Senator J.D. Vance and Vance-endorsed Senate candidate Bernie Moreno.

Even more important is the fact that Majewski’s former primary opponent, former State Representative Craig Riedel, is also running for the seat again. So Majewski once again must win the support of conservative voters, both to defeat a RINO and unseat a Democrat so the House can gain one more America First representative.

Andy Vidak: California 20

Certainly one of the most unexpected high-profile races in the country – and thus the perfect final entry for this list – is the race to succeed outgoing ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in the 20th district of California.

Much like the beginning of McCarthy’s Speakership, the race to succeed him appeared to be a foregone conclusion before it even began. Early talk suggested that McCarthy would anoint State Senator Shannon Grove (R-Calif.) as his successor, and that she would run largely unopposed, win the nomination, and easily win the R+16 district.

But then came the news that Grove had no interest in running for the seat, instead opting to run for her final term in the State Senate in 2026. After that, Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Calif.), a heavily propped-up “rising star” of the California GOP, announced his entry into the race after previously saying he would not do so. Then came legal issues regarding Fong’s run for Congress after having already filed to run for re-election in the Assembly, which ultimately led to his congressional bid being disqualified by the California Secretary of State.

Now the race for McCarthy’s old seat, just like the race to succeed him as Speaker, is more wide-open than ever before. Currently-announced Republican candidates include Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux and businessman David Giglio.

Despite Giglio being propped up by some as an America First candidate, his skills as a campaigner have proven severely lacking; in his previous race for Congress in 2022, in the crucial 13th district, he came in a distant fourth place in the primary, with a mere 14.8% of the vote. Having aligned with the likes of Laura Loomer, his campaign style of frequently promoting his candidacy in the replies of larger and more popular accounts on X seems very much based on Loomer’s own barn-burning campaign in 2022. It generates plenty of buzz, but translates more to reposts on X than votes in the election.

But there is one true conservative who would make the perfect candidate for this seat, even though he has not yet announced.

Andy Vidak, who previously served one term in the California State Senate, has openly suggested that he may run for the seat. Like other successful conservatives in the Central Valley such as former Congressman Devin Nunes, Vidak was a farmer before he ran for office; despite being as far from a career politician as one could get, he displayed a knack for performing well in difficult districts for Republicans. In the Tea Party wave of 2010, Vidak came closer than anyone else to ousting longtime incumbent Democrat Jim Costa, in the 20th district of the pre-2010 congressional map.

In 2013, he won a special election for the 16th State Senate District, which was previously held by a Democrat. Despite being a White man and going up against a Latina Democrat in a heavily Hispanic district, Vidak won the election in what was considered a major upset. He was re-elected to a full term in 2014, before ultimately falling victim to the California Democrats’ ballot-harvesting scheme which flipped many red seats in the disastrous 2018 election cycle, including Vidak’s.

During his short time as State Senator, Vidak proved time and again that he was less interested in generating headlines or giving fiery speeches for clicks on social media, and instead only cared about effectively serving his constituents; from pursuing action and solutions regarding the man-made water crisis in the Central Valley, to fighting the disastrous High Speed Rail debacle. For his efforts to push back on the state’s increasingly authoritarian measures regarding “global warming,” Vidak even received praise from Breitbart.

Vidak has proven more than capable of winning elections, unlike others who are eyeing the seat. And unlike McCarthy, or others in the area such as neighboring Congressman Valadao, Vidak has always been a consistent Trump supporter and a reliable conservative. As such, his election to Congress to replace the disgraced ex-Speaker would be the ultimate symbolic victory for the America First movement.

An America First Minority or a RINO Majority?

The response to some of these endorsements will surely be a pearl-clutching appeal to “electability,” with some insisting that more conservative candidates could lose “winnable” seats. Not only is this false for all of these seats – which are definitely winnable for Republicans in a general election, even with hard-right nominees – but it entirely misses the point of such an ideological purification.

From a practical standpoint, the likelihood of losing the House majority is already high enough, irrespective of the outcomes of any of these particular races. Especially contentious seats, like the handful of New York districts which were won by Republicans in 2022 yet voted for Biden in 2020, may guarantee the loss of the House majority by the narrowest of margins.

If the House is going to be lost no matter what, it is better for the Republicans who remain in office to be more unified behind President Trump and his MAGA agenda, so that when the majority is eventually restored, a newly America First House of Representatives will be more capable of solidifying such an agenda into law.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: Republican Mark Harris, left, and his attorney David Freedman leave after speaking with the media following a meeting with state election investigators on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019 at the Dobbs Building in Raleigh, N.C. (Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)