Anti-Trump Republicans Launch New Group to Impact Midterms

A group of Republicans unhappy with the course of the GOP is forming the Renew America Movement organization to recruit and support candidates in the most competitive 2022 House and Senate races.

The group plans to raise “tens of millions” of dollars to support or oppose candidates, regardless of party, to defeat “radical Republicans” who support former President Donald Trump in four to five Senate races and about two dozen House races in next year’s midterm elections. It will also recruit candidates to run in GOP primaries or as independents under the Renew America Movement banner.

Evan McMullin, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2016 as an independent and is a leader of the effort, said the group wants to push the GOP back to its traditional principles and create a new party if necessary for those conservatives who believe the Republican Party has become too extreme.

“We are a growing minority of the political electorate but sufficient to decide the outcomes of the closest races in the Senate and the House,” said McMullin, a former chief policy director for the House Republican Conference.

A group of more than 150 former Republican governors, members of Congress and cabinet officials released a “call for American renewal” statement of principles in May and is holding a town hall Thursday night to discuss its plans.

“Our priority this cycle is going after extremist elements within the Republican Party,” said Miles Taylor, a leader of the group. “We’re going to try to run rational against radical.”

Trump has also criticized Taylor and this group in a May statement as “a group of RINOs and Losers who are coming out to protest President Trump.”

McMullin’s previous efforts to oppose Trump and his supporters haven’t found much financial support. His presidential campaign raised $1.6 million, with about a third coming from small-dollar donors giving less than $200. His campaign ended up owing $645,000 to various vendors, which he hasn’t repaid, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

McMullin and his running mate Mindy Finn launched Stand Up Ideas, a charitable organization, and Stand Up Republic, an advocacy group, both of which were critical of Trump and his administration. The two groups combined to raise a little less than $2 million in 2018 according to tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service, the most recent year available.

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