Del. John McGuire, R-Goochland County, who was elected just last week to represent the newly created state Senate District 10, announced Wednesday that he is challenging Rep. Bob Good, R-Campbell County, for the Republican nomination in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District.
In a lengthy email to his supporters, McGuire, a former U.S. Navy Seal, alleged that Good “has failed us time and time again” and that he is “more focused on getting on the news and serving himself than on serving the people.”
Good, McGuire wrote, voted for Kevin McCarthy to be speaker of the House of Representatives, and then “threw a temper tantrum, reversed himself, and allowed the party to fall into chaos, costing us the 2023 elections.”
McGuire also wrote that Good, who has aligned himself with the far-right wing of the GOP’s delegation while pushing conspiracies over the 2020 presidential election and the COVID-19 pandemic, “abandoned” former President Donald Trump “by endorsing another candidate.” Good recently announced that he would back Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the Republican presidential primaries next year.
In order to “save this great country,” McGuire encouraged Republicans to “get President Donald J. Trump back in the White House, unify the Republican Party behind Trump and focus on beating the Democrats and their Marxist, freedom-crushing policies, [and] deliver results for the American people.”
A staunch conservative and an early supporter of Trump who attended the rally outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, McGuire said that he has “a Biblical worldview and will always stand up for righteousness. That’s why I’m answering the call from folks all over the 5th district to run for this seat.”
David Richards, a political analyst and chair of the political science program at the University of Lynchburg, said that McGuire’s primary challenge wasn’t unexpected.
“Ever since the ouster of McCarthy from the speaker position, Good and some others have been viewed by the mainstream GOP as more obstructionist than team players. The 5th District is a solidly Republican district, no Democratic challenger would win at this point, but Good has always worried about being challenged from within the GOP,” Richard said, adding that Good has “ticked off a lot of people” in the GOP in his time in office.
“Even Trump supporters see Good as being a traitor. If McGuire can get the rest of the local GOP behind him, which is not a given, he might have a chance. I don’t think we would see a radical shift in policy if McGuire wins. The GOP might see him as an easier candidate to control than Good.”
McGuire was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017, representing what was then the 56th District, comprising areas to the north and west of Richmond. He ran unopposed in last week’s election in Senate District 10, which includes Amelia, Appomattox, Buckingham, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Goochland and Powhatan counties, and parts of Hanover, Henrico, Louisa and Prince Edward counties.
In his email Wednesday, McGuire also said that “Marxist Democrats now control the Virginia General Assembly, which is going to hurt the people of Virginia badly.” Instead of Good “helping the GOP team and the people of Virginia, he helped himself — and the Democrats.”
Good’s ascent to national politics began in the spring of 2020, when the former member of the Campbell County Board of Supervisors secured his party’s nomination at a convention at Tree of Life Ministries in his home county, knocking off incumbent Denver Riggleman, who had been criticized by his party’s religious flank for officiating a same-sex wedding. Good won the nomination after 10 hours of voting with 58%.
Good then proceeded to win the general election in November that year, defeating Democrat Cameron Webb, 52.6% to 47.4%. Last year, he defeated Josh Throneburg, the Democratic nominee, by an even wider margin, with 61% of the vote.
If he runs again, Good will face McGuire not in a party-run convention but in a Republican primary next June, as it is now required by law.