Virginia Primary Pits Republicans Against Each Other

( – Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) is one of the most conservative members of Congress. The lawmaker is the leader of the House Freedom Caucus and was instrumental in ousting former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). His primary race highlighted the fractures within the Republican Party.

On Tuesday, June 18, voters in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District headed to the polls to choose the next GOP candidate for Congress. Election officials didn’t count the ballots on June 19 (Juneteenth), a national holiday that is observed by the state of Virginia. Good was up against Senator John McGuire in the race.

In recent months, Good has received blowback from establishment Republicans. They are angry at him for his role in voting out McCarthy. The congressman also lost the support of former President Donald Trump during the presidential primary because he endorsed failed GOP candidate Ron DeSantis. He claimed the only reason he voiced his support for the Florida governor was because the former president was only eligible to serve for one term if elected in 2024.

Good claimed Trump was the “best president of [his] lifetime.” As for McGuire, the incumbent congressman said that he always has his eye on the next job. Good was referring to the multiple campaigns in the last several years. In 2020, McGuire ran for a seat in the 7th District. Then, the following year, he ran for the House of Delegates and won. In 2022, he ran for a US Congress seat in another district but withdrew. Then the GOP candidate ran for the state Senate in 2023 but a week after he won the four-year term, he announced he was running for the US House.

Good called McGuire a “perpetual candidate in search of a race.”

In the run-up to the primary, Trump said Good was “BAD FOR VIRGINIA, AND BAD FOR THE USA.” The presumptive Republican nominee has acknowledged the Virginia lawmaker eventually endorsed him but has said it was too late because “the damage” was already done. The former president released a video announcing his support for McGuire, telling Virginia voters that Good “will stab you in the back like he did me.”

McGuire was leading Good by just a few hundred votes by midnight on Wednesday.

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