Rep. Good Locked in Tight Race With Trump-Backed Challenger

LYNCHBURG, Va.—Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) is locked in a tight race with Trump-backed Virginia state Sen. John McGuire.

The race may not be called on June 18 if the results remain close and it may ultimately head to a recount. A candidate may request a recount if the difference between candidates is 1 percent or less, according to Virginia law.

Mr. Good, chair of the staunchly conservative House Freedom Caucus, risks being the first House incumbent to go down to a primary challenge this year, with the exception of one race in which two incumbents faced off due to redistricting.

The incumbent, in a late-night post on X urged supporters to “[k]eep the faith and don’t stop fighting now.”

“The entire DC Swamp was aligned against us with over $10 million in attack ads, but with your help we were able to make this race too close to call,” Mr. Good wrote

Despite the race not being called, Mr. Guire, a former Navy SEAL, declared victory at his watch party in Lynchburg at about 11:30 p.m.

The contentious primary battle has been largely defined by loyalty to former President Trump. Mr. Good had initially endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the presidential race, before flipping to the former president after the governor dropped out.

Former President Trump and Mr. McGuire have cast Mr. Good as disloyal to the presumptive Republican nominee. Former President Trump, in a Truth Social post, said that despite the House Freedom Caucus chair’s subsequent endorsement, “the damage had been done.”

When previously asked if he regretted endorsing Mr. DeSantis, Mr. Good said “The time for talking about previous endorsements is over.”

He said, following a June 7 rally on the lawn in front of a courthouse in Powhatan, Virginia, that it’s time to unite behind former President Trump.

In interviews with The Epoch Times outside polling places on June 18, voters explained why they voted for either Mr. McGuire or Mr. Good.

Jimmy, who was wearing a Make America Great Again hat and a shirt with faces of former President Trump plastered all over, said he supported Mr. McGuire simply because “Trump endorsed him” even though Mr. Good “did an alright job.”

James said he pulled the lever for Mr. McGuire even though he did not like either candidate but in the end had to pick one. He said there needs to be a change in the U.S. government. He also cited former President Trump’s endorsement of Mr. McGuire.

However, Ray said he cast his ballot for Mr. McGuire because “he’s the better choice” and given his experience as a Navy SEAL.

David, on the other hand, voted for Mr. Good, he said, simply “because he’s a conservative.”

Kay said she cast her ballot for Mr. Good because “of his record,” though she did not specify which policies she appreciates.

All interviewees declined to provide their last names.

NTD Photo
Virginia state Sen. John McGurie, a candidate in the GOP primary in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District, takes the stage at his election watch party at The Virginian Hotel in Lynchburg, Va., on June 18, 2024. (Jackson Richman/Epoch Times)

While Mr. Good received endorsements from a dozen or so members of the House Freedom Caucus, Mr. McGuire boasted backing from some prominent Republicans, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Ala.).

One Freedom Caucus member, Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), supported Mr. McGuire, calling him “conservative and effective.”

Mr. Good was one of eight Republicans to join all Democrats in ousting former Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as House Speaker in October.

A super PAC affiliated with Republican Main Street Partnership, a group that supports moderate Republicans, has spent more than $450,000 to defeat the GOP incumbent, according to Open Secrets.

The seat is likely to stay in GOP hands as Mr. Good won reelection in 2022 with 57.6 percent of the vote.

Terri Wu and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times