Saturday, July 20, 2024

Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good in Va. Primary Cliffhanger w/ Trump-Backed Challenger

'This race remains too close to call. We are in a period where the law provides a process for evaluating the accuracy of all the vote totals ... to ensure everyone can have full confidence in the certified results.

(Elias Irizarry, Headline USA) Republicans in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District headed to the polls Tuesday to vote for their next congressman in a highly contested election between incumbent Rep. Bob Good—the current chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, who had backed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for president—and John McGuire, his Donald Trump-endorsed challenger. 

Throughout the primary, the political infighting between the two conservative powerhouses made many uneasy, reluctant to take sides in the lose–lose dispute. And with the race shaping up to be a statistical dead heat, there appeared to be no immediate prospects for reconciliation.

By Wednesday afternoon, with all 24 precincts reporting, McGuire led Good by 309 votes or  0.49% of the total vote.

In elections where the margin of victory is less than or equal to 0.5% of the total vote, candidates may request a state-funded recount within 10 days after certification, according to Virginia law.

Good posted on X that the race remained too close to call, particularly with provisional and mail-in ballots still remaining to be counted. Vote-counting effectively came to a halt at midnight as Wednesday marked the beginning of the Juneteenth state and federal holiday.


According to the Virginia Public Access Project, voters will likely “be waiting until at least Friday for this race to be officially called.”

McGuire’s bid to unseat Good has brought about a great deal of acrimony within the GOP after Trump endorsed McGuire in retaliation for Good’s support of DeSantis during the Republican presidential primary earlier this year.

Trump stated in his endorsement of McGuire that Good had “turned his back on our incredible movement.”

Additionally, a leaked video showed Good’s support for DeSantis stemmed from Trump’s legal issues—describing it as “baggage” and hinting that voters would “regret” making Trump the nominee.

Good, however, holds one of the most conservative track records in Congress according to multiple tracking sites including the Institution for Legislative Analysis.

Good has touted his lifetime score of 100% with the Heritage Foundation and the American Conservative Union—an impressive feat at a time where many Republicans find themselves frustrated with establishment Republicans and “RINOs.”

Alongside Trump’s endorsement of McGuire, many Republicans have been forced to take sides in the bitter political dispute and break rank with Trump.

Most notably, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and and former White House official Steve Bannon traveled to Virginia in support of Good’s re-election bid.

However, Marjorie Taylor Greene, who opposed the ousting of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, has been a vocal critic of Good and supporter of McGuire—having been the first member of Congress to endorse him.

Good has framed his challenger as part of former McCarthy’s “revenge tour” after Good became one of eight Republicans to support the ousting of McCarthy.

Some argued that Trump’s endorsement of McGuire had nothing to do with Good’s support for DeSantis but more to do with the ousting of McCarthy—whose PAC has been funding McGuire’s campaign.

“The problem with that lack of situational awareness is that Trump has supported people who endorsed DeSantis … just not the right wingers!” stated Daniel Horowitz, host of the Conservative Review podcast “He endorsed Laurel Lee against her challenger from the right.”

Supporters of Good also brought up Trump’s recent endorsement of Rep. Celeste Maloy, R-Utah, in her re-election bid against Green Beret Colby Jenkins. Maloy notably referred to Trump as a “dictator” after Jan. 6 in a 2021 interview.

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