Trump-backed candidate set to oust House Freedom Caucus chair in tight Virginia primary

Lynchburg, Virginia - House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good appears poised to lose his primary bid for reelection to a Trump-backed candidate in a highly anticipated race still too close to call.

Republican Congressman Bob Good is facing a narrow battle for reelection in Virginia's fifth district.
Republican Congressman Bob Good is facing a narrow battle for reelection in Virginia's fifth district.  © Anna Moneymaker / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Results in Tuesday's GOP primary for Virginia's fifth congressional district are narrowly divided, with state Senator John McGuire holding a slight edge over four-term incumbent Bob Good.

According to the New York Times, McGuire has received 31,418 votes to Good's 31,097 – with over 95% of votes counted.

The margin of 321 votes – or around 0.5% – falls within the scope for a recount.

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The vote count resumes on Thursday after a pause for the Juneteenth holiday, although it could be weeks before a possible recount is complete and an official winner is certified, Good hinted on X.

"We believe we can still prevail," the Lynchburg native added.

McGuire, meanwhile, has expressed his confidence in a win in an X post, writing: "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. There are still a few votes left to count, but it’s clear that all paths end with a victory."

Bob Good loses Trump's favor in congressional reelection campaign

Republican Congressional candidate John McGuire (r.) received the endorsement of ex-president Donald Trump.
Republican Congressional candidate John McGuire (r.) received the endorsement of ex-president Donald Trump.  © Screenshot/Facebook/John McGuire

Good has stoked controversy within his own party in his current term by voting to oust former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

McGuire, a Navy SEAL, received the endorsement of Donald Trump in his bid to unseat the congressman.

"Bob Good is BAD FOR VIRGINIA, AND BAD FOR THE USA," Trump wrote on Truth Social earlier this month. "I just want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, and the person that can most help me do that is Navy Seal and highly respected State Legislator, John McGuire, a true American Hero."

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The challenger has also secured endorsements from far-right Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene and House Freedom Caucus member Warren Davidson.

Good, on the other hand, has received backing from Representative Matt Gaetz, Senator Rand Paul, and other Republicans in Congress.

Although he initially endorsed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for president in 2024, Good has since declared his continued fealty to Trump. The congressman attended the January 6, 2021, "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington DC but did not participate in the Capitol riot.

Virginia's fifth congressional district is solidly red. Whichever candidate ultimately triumphs in the GOP primary is expected to win the House seat come November.

Cover photo: Collage: ANNA MONEYMAKER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP & Screenshot/Facebook/John McGuire

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