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Virginia primaries: Bob Good race too close to call, Vindman wins 7th District

Republican Jewish Coalition CEO Matt Brooks accused the sitting congressman of “abandoning Israel” in his April endorsement of challenging State Sen. John McGuire.

U.S. Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) speaks with a reporter as he leaves the U.S. Capitol for the weekend in Washington, D.C., on May 17, 2024. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images.
U.S. Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) speaks with a reporter as he leaves the U.S. Capitol for the weekend in Washington, D.C., on May 17, 2024. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images.

One of the most closely watched primaries of 2024 remains too close to call on Wednesday, as John McGuire, a Republican Virginia state senator, holds a lead of just 321 votes over incumbent Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.).

At press time, McGuire earned 50.26% of the vote against Good’s 49.74%, with more than 95% of the vote counted. More than 62,000 votes have been counted already.

A retired Navy SEAL, McGuire declared victory on Tuesday though the Associated Press and others have yet to call the race.

The two Republicans vying to represent Virginia’s 5th District have evenly divided the conservative elements of the party. Good chairs the House Freedom Caucus, the most conservative bloc in Congress. McGuire, however, secured the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.

Since he was first elected to Congress in 2020, Good has been one of the most controversial members of the Republican caucus. In that primary, he unseated incumbent Republican moderate Denver Riggleman, running in large part on his opposition to gay marriage after Riggleman officiated a wedding between two of his male staffers.

Good has faced headwinds in the 2024 primary over his decision to oust Kevin McCarthy, the former House speaker, and for his votes against Israel aid.

The Republican Jewish Coalition, which backs pro-Israel Republicans, took the unusual step of endorsing McGuire after Good voted in April against the supplemental foreign-aid bill that included billions of dollars for Israel. Good was one of just 21 Republicans who voted against the measure.

“Congressman Bob Good shamefully voted against this critical support for the Jewish state, abandoning Israel as it continues to fight for its very survival after the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust,” RJC CEO Matt Brooks said in his endorsement of McGuire. “This vote showed who Israel’s true friends are, and exposed those like Congressman Bob Good who are not.”

Good has also been the target of a “revenge tour” by McCarthy, according to reports by Politico. The Virginia congressman was one of eight Republicans who voted to oust the speaker, and McCarthy and his allies have backed McGuire heavily.

Elsewhere in Virginia, Eugene Vindman, who is Ukrainian-born and Jewish, won the contest handily for the Democratic nomination for Virginia’s 7th District with 49% of the vote. 

Vindman and his twin brother Alexander played a key role in Trump’s first impeachment trial over a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

A self-described supporter of Israel, Vindman has said that his Jewish identity is critical to his personal life. But in the immediate aftermath of Oct. 7, he expressed concern about how the Jewish state would prosecute the war against Hamas.

“Israel will need to restrain its bloodlust to punish only those culpable for the slaughter,” he wrote on Oct. 9.

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