Trump lawyers issue cease & desist in 5th District, Good responds

Published 6:37 am Monday, June 3, 2024

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A cease and desist order from attorneys representing former President Donald Trump has turned into the latest round of finger pointing in the 5th Congressional District Republican primary. 

On Friday, May 31, Trump attorney David A. Warrington sent a cease and desist letter to Congressman Bob Good. His argument was that some of Good’s promotional material gave the false impression that Trump had endorsed the 5th District incumbent. In Cumberland and Prince Edward counties, there have been several signs put up that say “Republican: Trump/Bob Good”. Trump’s attorneys opposed this because, as we reported last week, the former president has endorsed Good’s opponent, Virginia State Senator John McGuire, in the Republican primary. 

“To be clear, neither you nor your campaign are authorized to use President Trump’s name or the Campaign’s to falsely imply their support of your candidacy,” Warrington wrote in his letter to Good, which The Herald has a copy of. “Nor are you or your campaign authorized to claim that you represent or are otherwise associated with President Trump or the Campaign.” 

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Warrington argued that if Good is using Trump’s name, image or likeness in his ads or fundraising materials, that implies support from the former president, support that he doesn’t have. 

“Producing and displaying materials that give the false impression that President Trump is supportive of your candidacy is a fraud on the voters of Virginia’s 5th Congressional District,” Warrington wrote. “It is an abuse of the voters’ trust to make such false statements.” 

Before he bowed out of the presidential race, Good had endorsed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the position, before shifting back to Trump once his candidate was out of the running. 

During his Tuesday, May 28 endorsement of McGuire, Trump said Good’s change was too little, too late. 

“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,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform. “But really, it was too late.” 

Good offers a response

Good’s campaign issued a response to the letter over the weekend, arguing there was no legal grounds to ask that signs be taken down. 

“Congressman Good endorsed Trump and we will continue to promote the presumptive nominee,” Good’s campaign staff said in the statement. “Our signs are much like ticket signs you’ve seen in the past.” 

They were referring to campaign ticket signs. Those are typically used after primaries, to highlight a party’s nominees in specific races heading into the November general election. In this case, Good’s campaign is using them to encourage people to vote him in for the June 18 primary. The Virginia presidential primary has long since passed, with voting for that wrapping up on Tuesday, March 5.  

In regards to the signs they put up, Good’s campaign said they consulted with legal counsel and are sure “our signs comply with the law and contain all appropriate legal disclaimers.” 

Good’s campaign also argued that typically, an order to take down a sign comes from county registrars. However, in this case, registrars have no authority to ask that the Good signs be taken down, campaign officials said. They pointed to the Virginia Code, which allows any political sign to go up, as long as it has the proper legal disclaimer. The staff also pointed out its not lawful to take signs off private property. 

5th District election underway 

Early voting is currently happening in the 5th District race. To be clear, as this question has come up before, Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward counties are all in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. 

The primary is set for Tuesday, June 18. As a result, early voting started on Friday, May 3, just over a month ago. Why did that happen? Because early voting has to start 45 days before the primary. 

To be clear, however, that doesn’t mean you head to the same precinct as you do in November. 

Early voting is limited to one location, the registrar’s office in each county. In Prince Edward County, that’s located on the second floor of the courthouse at 124 N. Main St. in Farmville. For Buckingham, it’s at 13360 W. James Anderson Highway. And for Cumberland, the office is at 1487 Anderson Highway.

As for when you can go, citizens will be able to vote at the location from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays on June 8 and June 15, also from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

And just a reminder, to vote early, you will need to do a few things. First, you’ll need to provide your name and address. Second, you have to show an ID. Acceptable IDs include a driver’s license, DMV-issued ID card, employee ID card with a photo, US Military ID or government-issued ID card. You can also use a recent utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck containing your name and address.