Freedom Caucus Chair Wants To Stop The Certification Of His Primary In A Key City

Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) told Steve Bannon on his “War Room” podcast Monday that he plans to challenge his primary outcome and hopes to stop the certification of votes in his district’s largest city due to his “lack of confidence” in the results.

Virginia Sen. John McGuire leads Good, chair of the House Freedom Caucus, by 344 votes overall in the state’s 5th District, though the June 18 race hasn’t been called yet for McGuire. Good has already said he wants a recount, which state law permits given the close margin.

The 5th District contains all or part of 21 largely rural counties and the cities of Charlottesville, Danville and Lynchburg. Lynchburg, the biggest city, is home to Liberty University, one of the country’s largest Christian universities. Good is ahead of McGuire by about 842 votes in Lynchburg.

“We’re going to be making the legal challenge in the next couple of days to demonstrate that Lynchburg, the biggest city, can’t be certified,” Good told Bannon, who has endorsed Good and campaigned for him in the days leading up to last Tuesday’s election. “There’s other concerns around the district with the results, but Lynchburg is the big key. That can’t be certified. There’s no confidence in Lynchburg’s results from either side, quite frankly.”

On Thursday, Good raised suspicions about “fires” occurring in three separate precincts on election day, writing on social media, “AI estimates the probability being 0.0000000318% chance.”

But election officials in the counties encompassing those precincts said they were fire alarms that didn’t significantly interfere with voting. In one case, the alarm was triggered by steam from a water heater, HuffPost reported Friday.

Good’s campaign said Monday its latest concerns were over “chain of custody issues with the drop boxes for mail in ballots,” citing two Lynchburg city council candidates in a similarly close race who brought up the same issue.

The Lynchburg voter registrar’s office, which said its election day fire alarm only impacted voting at a single polling site for 15 minutes, wrote in a statement it was investigating seven absentee ballots.

Good’s campaign also cited two other counties in the south-central Virginia district where “canvassing meetings were not held with proper notice given to observers,” in addition to “failure for observers to witness the opening of sealed, mailed-in ballots, and more.”

Good could become the first House Republican to lose a contested primary this election cycle. McGuire has Donald Trump’s endorsement and has also benefited from outside spending tied to allies of ex-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). As the chair of the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus, Good was among the eight hard-right Republicans who ousted McCarthy from leadership last year for not catering to some of the House’s most extreme members.

“Just look at who’s funding my opponent. It is the Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Eric Cantor types,” Good told Bannon. “The swamp folks, the RINOs for whom the endless wars, allegiance to the military industrial complex — that’s who’s funding my opponent. That’s who’s supporting my opponent. He would vote very differently from me in Washington.”

McGuire did not respond to a request for comment about Good’s threat of a legal challenge to halt certification.

CORRECTION: This story has been amended to clarify that the 5th District is home to Charlottesville, not Charlotte, and that Good leads by 842 votes in the city of Lynchburg, not Lynchburg County.