Trump’s revenge campaign against a Virginia lawmaker ends with a cliffhanger

As of Wednesday morning, only 315 votes stood between Bob Good and John McGuire in Virginia’s 5th congressional district. (Getty Images)
As of Wednesday morning, only 315 votes stood between Bob Good and John McGuire in Virginia’s 5th congressional district. (Getty Images)

A Virginia primary congressional race between a right-wing firebrand incumbent and a challenger endorsed by Donald Trump remained too close to call on Wednesday morning — but that didn’t stop the former president’s candidate of choice from prematurely declaring victory.

John McGuire, a Virginia state senator, was endorsed by Trump after Representative Bob Good, a two-term incumbent who serves as chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, came out in support of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the Republican nomination for president. As of Wednesday morning, only 315 votes stood between Good and McGuire in Virginia’s 5th congressional district.

Nonetheless, McGuire declared victory Tuesday evening.

“Thank you to my family, thank you to everyone who helped out on this campaign, thank you to the people who endorsed and supported me, and thank you to Donald J. Trump for believing in me,” McGuire posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “There are still a few votes left to count, but it’s clear that all paths end with a victory.”

Meanwhile, Good applauded his campaign for the close race despite a lack of support from Trump and the Republican establishment.

“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,” he said. “No matter the outcome, you’ve shown the DC Swamp that you won’t back down from standing for what’s right. Keep the faith and don’t stop fighting now.”

Good has become an outspoken right-wing figure since he joined the House of Representatives in 2021. He vocally opposed Kevin McCarthy’s bid to become speaker of the House in January of last year. When Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida filed his motion to remove McCarthy, Good joined Democrats and seven Republicans in supporting it.

Representative Bob Good (pictured) endorsed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the Republican nomination for president. (Getty Images)
Representative Bob Good (pictured) endorsed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the Republican nomination for president. (Getty Images)

During the fight to replace replace McCarthy, Good was one of a handful of hardliners who opposed electing House Majority Leader Steve Scalise as speaker. He later threw his weight behind Mike Johnson, as did the rest of the House Republican conference.

McCarthy and a prominent political action committee ultimately poured money into an effort to oppose Good’s bid. Trump endorsed McGuire despite the fact that Good traveled to New York in May to support the former president in his hush money trial. McGuire also made the trip.

“John is running against Bob Good, who is not good. Despite his name, he’s very bad for Virginia,” Trump told supporters on Monday.

Good enjoyed the support of Gaetz, as well as former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and Representative Chip Roy of Texas. Meanwhile, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has been kicked out of the Freedom Caucus, backed McGuire.

Virginia’s 5th district, which includes Charlottesville and the University of Virginia as well as nearby suburbs and rural areas. has seen frequent turnover. Indeed, Good defeated incumbent Republican Denver Riggleman in 2020 largely in response to Riggleman presiding over a same-sex wedding.

Advertisement