5th District Republican primary results not expected to change

Published 9:05 am Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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Provisional and mail ballots aren’t expected to change the results in the Congressional 5th District Republican primary. That’s how it stands as of 11:20 a.m. Wednesday. Why? Because so far in the morning counts, incumbent 5th District Congressman Bob Good has just picked up 13 votes as a result of the counting. His challenger, Virginia State Sen. John McGuire, earned seven extra, to bring his total so far to 31,377. Good, by comparison, has 31,068. With less than 400 left to count, it’s almost impossible for Good to stage a comeback.

In his victory speech, McGuire thanked those who supported him through the campaign.

“My life is a testament to the fact that America is the greatest country on this planet and I’m so honored to have the chance to serve her again,” McGuire said in a statement. “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.” 

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Good’s campaign, meanwhile, went silent as the numbers kept updating. He has not yet conceded the race, however. To be clear, in order for Good to possibly win, he would need more than 75% of all remaining ballots to go his way. The only unknown here is if any ballots were mailed in on Primary Day and show up by this Friday. That’s extremely unlikely to be a large number, as Good would need hundreds of them to impact the results. 

5th District Republican primary goes to familiar face

The incumbent Congressman, who also currently serves as chairman of the U.S. House Freedom Caucus, did well in places like Lynchburg, Charlottesville and Albemarle County, but lost in Prince Edward, Buckingham, Cumberland and Charlotte counties. 

The places Good lost were areas much more familiar with McGuire, who currently serves District 10 in the Virginia Senate. One of the things The Herald repeatedly was told on Primary Day by voters was that they saw McGuire a lot more than his opponent. In Buckingham, voters pointed to the fact McGuire has been known to show up to meetings of the Board of Supervisors, to discuss bills he filed or just in support of a proposal, whereas none of the residents could remember the last time they saw Good at anything. 

In nearby Lunenburg County, a place where the vote was nearly equally divided between the two candidates, multiple voters took a different approach, telling The Herald they didn’t see much difference. They pointed to the fact neither one had outlined any platform or policy in ads, speeches or interviews.

Across the district, voters also said that endorsements didn’t really make much of a difference, as they expected whoever won to fully support Republicans in the fall elections. Former President Donald Trump endorsed McGuire, while a number of Republican leaders in the 5th District came out in support of Good.

So what happens now? 

So is the election over? Well, once the counting stops, that will be up to Good. Due to the fact the margin of victory is less than 1%, under Virginia law he is allowed to call for a recount. There are no automatic recounts in the state. It would be up to him to ask for it and he has 10 days to do so. 

In this case, Good would have to argue that he believes there was a malfunction with the equipment or some other reason that the ballots were not counted correctly. In that case, the local board of elections in each county would simply count the votes again, this time by hand. However, this isn’t free.

The state will pay for the recount in cases where the margin of victory is less than or equal to 0.5%. At this point, that’s For any other requested recounts, the candidate pays.

The candidate asking for the recount would have to first post a bond in the amount of $10 per precinct. In those situations, if the accusing candidate wins the recount, the cost of running it would be paid by the counties. But if the accusing candidate loses, then he has to pay.