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Bob Good primary race still too close too call. Good signals he'll push for recount

GOP primary in Virginia too close to call
Contentious Republican primary in Virginia too close to call 02:32

As votes continue to be counted in Virginia's 5th District GOP congressional primary race, blows and barbs are still being traded between Republican candidates John McGuire and Rep. Bob Good, who is running for reelection.

Good, the incumbent, was first elected in 2020, and hoped to stave off the challenge from McGuire, a former NAVY Seal who has the backing of former President Donald Trump, but results from the Virginia Department of Elections show Good trailing McGuire by 330 votes. 

Speaking to Steve Bannon on his War Room podcast Thursday, Good cast doubt on the canvassing process, saying that his team was not informed about a counting process in one county that started two hours early.  

The congressman also promised a "full recount" and investigation process and said he had a large team of lawyers.

"We're going to we're going to pursue every suspicion of malfeasance, we're investigating that and we're going to have some extra time to do it during the recount process," he said.

According to the Virginia Department of Elections, the canvassing process will continue until Tuesday, June 25 and the State Board of Elections will certify those results on July 2.

Candidates will then have until July 12 to submit a recount petition.

Even though the race remains too close to call, McGuire took a victory lap on X, formerly known as Twitter just hours after polls closed on Tuesday. 

"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," he posted. 

The race between Good and McGuire has turned out to one of the most contentious primaries so far in the 2024 cycle. The testing of incumbents in primaries is a regular occurrence, but before the Virginia results, no current member of Congress had lost a primary this year, aside from instances where new district lines were being used.

The GOP race for the reliably red Fifth Congressional District in Virginia has proven to be a deep internal struggle for Republicans giving the external forces at play. 

"Bob Good has done more to undermine and divide Republicans than any Democrat," Nebraska GOP congressman Don Bacon posted on social media late Tuesday night.  

Good had endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the presidential race — before returning to former president Trump's side. And last year, Good was among the eight House Republicans who joined with Democrats to oust Kevin McCarthy as speaker. 

While there were other Republicans running for reelection who had done at least one of those two things, Good had done both, managing to anger colleagues in Washington and alienate Trump at the same time, which made his chances for winning another term all the more daunting. That challenge was underscored further when Trump endorsed McGuire in the primary and took the step of holding a tele rally for Good's challenger on the eve of the contest. 

The stakes for Good are also stark given his current role as the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. That far-right branch of House Republicans has been a problem at times for the GOP since the party won back a narrow majority in the 2022 midterms. A loss by Good could complicate the group's influence in Washington moving forward. 

"This fight, as you know, is much bigger than me and my opponent, it's much bigger than Virginia the Fifth District," Good said on leading Trump ally Steve Bannon's show on Thursday. "This is not only the template, as you said, for the election on November 5… but it's the swamp versus the Freedom Caucus, it's are we going to allow this seat to be bought by the McCarthy revenge tour?"

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