Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good Loses Primary, But Plans To Demand Recount | EUROtoday

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Virginia election officers on Tuesday declared Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), chairman of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, the loser in his shut main towards state Sen. John McGuire.

The dedication got here two weeks after Good’s main and makes him the primary casualty of GOP infighting this cycle.

McGuire’s 374-vote margin continues to be slim sufficient that Good can request a recount, however simply shy of the edge that will absolve Good’s marketing campaign from having to foot the invoice.

“We intend to call for recounts,” Good instructed HuffPost final week, earlier than the Virginia State Board of Elections had licensed McGuire because the winner. “It’s close enough to justify that and we just want to make sure that every legal and human vote is counted, and ultimately, the result reflects the intent of the qualified voters who participated.”

Good has tried to solid doubt on the result, drawing consideration to what he recommended have been suspicious hearth alarms at three polling websites on election day and balloting points in his district’s largest metropolis, although fewer than 10 ballots have been affected.

The June 18 main, in south-central Virginia’s fifth District, was a rare blow to Good, who himself unseated an incumbent solely 4 years in the past and shortly ascended in Congress to guide the House’s most outstanding group of right-wing lawmakers.

It’s the primary time this cycle a critical main problem has managed to knock out an incumbent Republican. Rep. Tony Gonzales, a West Texas average, narrowly emerged from a May runoff after opposing a GOP border safety invoice. Last month, South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace simply dispatched a main problem that largely stemmed from her vote towards former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

Good was opposed by two highly effective and generally opposing forces throughout the GOP: Former President Donald Trump and allies of McCarthy.

Good alienated each Trump and McCarthy over the previous 12 months or so — first, when he endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over Trump within the Republican presidential main final May, after which when he and several other different GOP lawmakers dethroned McCarthy in October.

“The MAGA wing sees him as a RINO [Republican in name only] because he doesn’t do everything that Trump says, or at least he’s perceived as critical of Trump,” Alex Keena, a political science professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. “And then the left flank of the Republican Party — if there really is a left flank — opposes him for betraying the party by undermining support for McCarthy during that time.”

“This is really a test of Trump’s ability to completely determine the Republican Party at this point.”

– Alex Keena, Virginia Commonwealth University

Good’s main demonstrated how just about any diploma of dissension towards Trump will probably be challenged within the fashionable Republican Party. There was virtually no daylight between the 2 hard-right candidates on precise coverage points, and McGuire — a former Navy SEAL who attended the Jan. 6, 2021, “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C. — is nearly assured to win the bright-red seat in November.

“When we’re looking at these primary challenges, they’ve typically been about ideology, a centrist versus an extremist,” Keena stated. “But that’s really not the case at all here. This is really a test of Trump’s ability to completely determine the Republican Party at this point.”

Good has solely good issues to say about Trump and instantly backed him after DeSantis dropped out of the presidential main in late January. Trump nonetheless appeared to harbor a grudge over the snub. The ex-president endorsed McGuire final month, prompting a number of of Good’s colleagues, together with Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), a fellow member of the Freedom Caucus, to observe his lead.

“Bob Good is BAD FOR VIRGINIA, AND BAD FOR THE USA!” Trump wrote on Truth Social final month. “He turned his back on our incredible Movement, and was constantly attacking and fighting me until recently, when he gave a warm and ‘loving’ Endorsement – But really, it was too late! The damage had been done.”

Rep. Bob Good of Virginia, who has first elected to Congress in 2020, lost a GOP primary to state Sen. John McGuire.
Rep. Bob Good of Virginia, who has first elected to Congress in 2020, misplaced a GOP main to state Sen. John McGuire.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

McGuire made hugging Trump the central focus of his marketing campaign. Good tried to do the identical, placing out his personal pro-Trump indicators. Good has additionally criticized McGuire, who beforehand ran for Congress in one other district, as a serial candidate; McGuire entered the fifth District race towards Good simply days after his election to the Virginia Senate.

McCarthy, who resigned from Congress on the finish of final 12 months, was not as immediately concerned within the main as Trump; he has not personally endorsed McGuire. But McCarthy hasn’t hidden the truth that he’s working towards the Republicans who toppled him as House speaker.

Open Secrets reported that teams opposing Good and backing McGuire, together with the usually centrist Republican Main Street Partnership, spent virtually $6 million. The teams backing Good, together with the Club For Growth and the House Freedom Fund, an arm of the House Freedom Caucus, spent virtually $4.4 million, though a full accounting of the race received’t be obtainable till subsequent month. Meanwhile, McGuire managed to barely outraise Good, $1.2 million to $1.1 million, per the newest Federal Election Commission filings.

Despite the deluge of out of doors cash, Trump overshadowed most the whole lot else in regards to the main. “The race is really just about the power of Trump and his endorsement, and his stranglehold on the Republican Party,” Keena stated.

Arthur Delaney contributed reporting.