The scene at the 5th district Republican convention. Photo by Markus Schmidt.

HAMPDEN SYDNEY – Rep. Bob Good, a Republican from Campbell County, once again seized his party’s nomination at the 5th congressional district’s GOP convention on the campus of Hampden-Sydney College near Farmville Saturday, defeating his sole challenger Dan Moy, a 27-year Air Force veteran and the chairman of the Charlottesville GOP.

Good secured his win after under two hours of voting, receiving 1,488 of 1,759 votes. 

Rep. Bob Good, R-Campbell County. Official portrait.

The crowd of about 2,000 delegates packing inside a hot and humid Kirby Field House was a sea of red campaign signs bearing Good’s logo when the incumbent took the stage. “Thank you for being in the fight for the future of our country, thank you for being ultra-MAGA,” Good shouted, earning applause and cheers from the audience.

Doubling down on his positions that Moy has attacked him for, Good took pride in a recent report that he is the fifth least bipartisan in a new index based on the record of representatives and senators in working across party lines on legislation in the 117th Congress. “I’m a little disappointed that I ride this low,” he said, adding that he didn’t go to Washington, D.C. to work with Democrats, but to defeat them. He vowed to continue to remain “on the frontline” alongside parents to fight “radical CRT ideology,” referring to critical race theory, a curriculum detested by many Republicans.  

Good also reiterated his opposition against vaccine mandates and his frequent trips to the border with Mexico, which he visited four times in his first 16 months in office. “I am going to make my fifth trip soon,” Good said, while calling for the impeachment of President Joe Biden over his immigration policies. “I pledge to not vote for any government spending until we secure the border,” he said.

During his six-minute speech, Good repeatedly took aim at Moy. “My opponent supports vaccine mandates for the military,” he said to boos from the audience. He also said that his campaign mostly ignored Moy’s challenge. ”He did nothing to help me after I won the nomination, and it will be impossible to do less this year because he did nothing the last time,” he said.

Moy’s bid had caused quite a stir within the district’s GOP because he divided the party after supporting Good’s first congressional bid two years ago. On Saturday, he reiterated some of the views he expressed in a recent interview with Cardinal News, alleging that Good has used his time in office for political “grandstanding” and has been “missing in action” on a number of key issues, from economic and workforce development in his home district to taking care of active duty military and veterans. 

A Daniel Moy supporter at the convention. Photo by Markus Schmidt.

“I fully supported my opponent in 2020 and I was hopeful he’d strengthen our party and our district,” Moy said.  “However, these last few months have shown that he is simply not up to the task. He is one of the loudest voices in Washington, but his grandstanding is producing no results,” he said, barely able to finish his point as the audience heckled him. 

Larry Sabato, the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said that Good’s victory was “completely expected” because of the convention method of nomination. “Participation is limited to the ultra-activists, unlike a primary which is open to far more people. That’s how Good defeated Congressman Riggleman two years ago,” Sabato said.

The new 5th district is clearly Republican-tilting, a bit more so than the previous one, Sabato added. “Plus, 2022 is basically going to be a Republican year. So even though Good is considered far right – an associate of Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Matt Gaetz of Florida, among many others – he’s the favorite in the fall. Good is the most far-right congressman from Virginia in decades.”

Rep. Bob Good speaks at the convention. Photo by Markus Schmidt.

A former Campbell County supervisor, Good first won his party’s nomination at a convention at Tree of Life Ministries in Campbell County in 2020, knocking off incumbent Denver Riggleman, who had been criticized by his party’s religious flank for officiating a same-sex wedding. As self-described “Biblical conservative,” Good won the nomination after 10 hours of voting with 58%.

Running on a far-right platform closely aligned with then-President Donald Trump’s policies, Good was elected in November 2020, defeating Democrat Cameron Webb by 52.6% to 47.4%. 

Good became the center of a controversy just a little over a month after the presidential election when he told a mostly maskless crowd at a pro-Trump rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., that the COVID-19 precautions were a “hoax,” and that the pandemic was “phony.” Good also claimed that the election, which Biden won by more than 8 million votes, had been stolen by Democrats to make Biden president. 

After the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Good joined a group of Republicans who voted against certifying the election of President-elect Biden. He also voted against legislation awarding Congressional Gold Medals to members of the U.S. Capitol Police and the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department for protecting lawmakers during the storming of the Capitol.

In a sharp contrast, Moy, Good’s Republican challenger, told Cardinal News that he would have voted to certify the election results, calling it “the correct thing to do” – a statement that almost certainly didn’t help him Saturday.

In November, Good will face Democrat Josh Throneburg, a Charlottesville resident and local pastor who became his party’s nominee last month when his primary opponents failed to make the primary ballot.

The 5th District. Courtesy of Virginia Supreme Court.

Markus Schmidt

Markus Schmidt is a reporter for Cardinal News. Reach him at markus@cardinalnews.org.