Freedom Caucus Chair Ousted by Trump-Backed Rival in Virginia GOP Primary

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

A House Republican primary race in Virginia was finally declared over on Tuesday after the state’s elections board certified the victory of state Sen. John McGuire over House Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good, one of Congress’ most hardline conservatives.

The Virginia State Board of Elections’ vote certifying the primary was unanimous, according to the Associated Press. After June 18, the day the election took place, the wire reported that the result was too close to call, with McGuire leading by just 374 votes with nearly 63,000 ballots cast.

That slim margin of victory is just 0.6 percentage points—enough that Good could request a recount, which he immediately said he would do.

“Republican voters across the 5th District deserve to know that all legal votes have been accurately counted,” his campaign said on social media. “We will vigorously pursue that objective over the coming days and weeks, as permitted by Virginia law.”

Because the margin is larger than 0.5 percentage points, Good will be required to fork over the funds to cover the recount himself, according to the AP.

McGuire was predictably jubilant about his win. “Number one,” he wrote on X, “I want to thank God. We could not have done this without my wife Tracy, our incredible team, and of course President Trump! This is the honor of a lifetime.” Under the statement, he shared a photo of himself posing stiffly alongside the former president, both flashing the thumbs-up.

Trump’s Endorsement Didn’t Help These Candidates One Bit

McGuire, a former Navy SEAL, was endorsed by Trump after Good committed the unforgivable sin of endorsing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for president. Good switched his allegiance back to Trump after DeSantis dropped out of the race, but it was too late.

“Bob Good is BAD FOR VIRGINIA, AND BAD FOR THE USA,” Trump posted on Truth Social on June 17. “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.”

In contrast to Good, Trump said at a tele-town hall that same day, “John McGuire will not let you down.”

Though the majority of the Freedom Caucus remained loyal to Good, hardline Trump supporters Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) threw their weight behind McGuire just before the primary.

Asked by Politico if the Freedom Caucus, normally painstakingly unified, might be embarrassed if Good were to be defeated, Davidson retorted, “I’m sure he would be embarrassed that he lost.”

Should a recount come and go without issue, Good’s loss will make him the first House incumbent nationally to lose a primary challenge this year, the AP noted. His campaign had not filed a recount petition as of late Tuesday afternoon, with a 10-day window remaining.

The firebrand congressman questioned his challenger’s victory in its immediate aftermath, pointing out alleged election irregularities in Lynchburg, the district’s largest city.

“Every result is checked three times,” state Commissioner of Elections Susan Beals said at the start of the state board meeting in Richmond on Tuesday, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Our system of checks and balances ensures that our elections are free and fair.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.