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Virginia certifies McGuire over Good in razor-thin 5th District primary

“Across VA-05, Republican primary voters rejected extremist Rep. Bob Good and supported reliably pro-Israel RJC-endorsed conservative John McGuire to represent them in Congress,” Republican Jewish Coalition leaders stated.

John McGuire
Virginia State Sen. John McGuire. Credit: Unrankable via Wikimedia Commons.

The Virginia State Board of Elections certified on Tuesday that State Sen. John McGuire defeated incumbent Rep. Bob Good in the Republican primary for the commonwealth’s 5th District.

McGuire eked out a win by a margin of just 374 votes out of more than 63,000 votes cast in a race closely watched by pro-Israel groups after Good voted against a foreign aid package in April that included billions of dollars for Israel.

The Republican Jewish Coalition, a group that backs pro-Israel Republicans, took the unusual step of endorsing McGuire in April after Good took several votes against Israel aid. The group celebrated McGuire’s win on Tuesday.

“Across VA-05, Republican primary voters rejected extremist Rep. Bob Good and supported reliably pro-Israel RJC-endorsed conservative John McGuire to represent them in Congress,” stated RJC national chairman Norm Coleman and CEO Matt Brooks. “This is a major victory for the RJC, the Jewish community, and for all pro-Israel Americans.”

The United Democracy Project, which is one of AIPAC’s Super PACs and that also backed McGuire, likewise cheered on his narrow victory in the primary.

“John McGuire has a proven track record of working to advance America’s strategic alliance with Israel,” the group stated. “He has also led efforts to fight the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.”

Good, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, has had a target on his back over controversial votes against Israel aid and for his part in ousting former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in October. The Virginia congressman was one of eight Republicans who voted to oust the speaker, and McCarthy and his allies backed McGuire heavily.

He defended his pro-Israel record at the time, saying that his vote against the bills was because they included aid for Gaza and did not include provisions to have Israel repay the money or offset it with cuts elsewhere.

“Israel does not have nearly $35 trillion in national debt as we do, and the habit of unpaid supplementals must end,” he wrote.

Good announced on Tuesday that he would pursue a recount, which Virginia law permits in any race where the margin is less than 1% of votes cast. Good and his campaign will have to pay for the recount as the .6% margin in the 5th District primary just misses the mark for a state-financed recount at .5%

‘We need a do-over in Lynchburg’

The congressman also raised questions about election integrity, insinuating that fire alarms that went off on Election Day at polling places were suspicious and that a small batch of potentially mishandled ballots in the city of Lynchburg required the election to be re-run.

“We had 3 ‘fires’ on election day in 3 precincts, all requiring the precincts to be evacuated for 20 minutes.  Albemarle County, Hanover County, and Lynchburg City. What is the probability?  Does anyone recall even 1 fire at a precinct on election day?” Good wrote. “AI estimates the probability being 0.0000000318% chance.”

Bob Good
Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.). Credit: Official Photo/U.S. House of Representatives via Wikimedia Commons.

“We need a do-over in Lynchburg, the biggest city in Virginia’s 5th District!” he added.

Denver Riggleman, who Good defeated in a bitter 2020 party convention battle for the Republican nomination to represent the 5th District, had some fun at Good’s expense on social media when Decision Desk called the race for McGuire on Tuesday.

“Interesting. Maybe it was space lasers? Broken algorithms? Fires in the polling locations set by the deep state?” Riggleman wrote.

Good has 10 days to file his recount petition. His campaign has said they intend to mount other legal challenges against the result.

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