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House Freedom Caucus ousts Warren Davidson

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Members of the House Freedom Caucus ousted Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) on Monday night — less than a month after he started a firestorm within the group by endorsing Chair Bob Good’s primary challenger.

The vote to oust Davidson took place during the group’s weekly closed-door meeting, two Republicans speaking on the condition of anonymity told POLITICO.

Davidson was found to be not in good standing — a distinction normally applied to members who don’t pay their dues or skip meetings — which made it easier to remove him on procedural rules, one of the members said.

In addition to Davidson being ousted, Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) is resigning from the group, a person familiar with the decision told POLITICO.

Good and Davidson both declined to comment as they left Monday night’s meeting. The Freedom Caucus doesn’t comment on internal matters.

The person familiar said the vote for ousting Davidson was 16-13, suggesting some of HFC’s roughly 35 members either didn’t attend the meeting or didn’t vote.

The decision caps off weeks of speculation within the group about Davidson’s fate, with a formal ouster effort being kick-started late last month led by an ally of Good.

Davidson’s decision to back John McGuire triggered shock for Good allies. It’s the latest instance of bad blood between the two men with Davidson also stepping down from the group’s leadership when Good became chair.

But Davidson’s allies argued that ouster supporters were trying to twist the rules in order to make it easier to remove the Ohio Republican. And some members of the Freedom Caucus were overheard complaining to Davidson as he left the meeting.

“Only the Freedom Caucus and a lame-duck Bob Good would be irrational and self-righteous enough to create a headline by kicking out a member and distracting from Joe Biden’s implosion. Hope Good enjoys retirement in obscurity,” said a GOP Freedom Caucus member aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.