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Thursday, July 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Virginia Republican congressional primary too close to call 

A battle between Trump loyalists John McGuire and incumbent Bob Good is too close to call in Virginia.

RICHMOND, Va. (CN) — The Republican House primary between House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good and state legislator John McGuire is too close to call and may require a recount.

"Typically in primaries like this where something has to be decided, it can come down to one or two votes," Henrico County resident Norvell Robinson said. 

Virginians headed to the polls on Tuesday to vote in hotly contested primaries. Six congressional districts and one senate seat were the focus of voting. 

The night's nail-biter was in Virginia's 5th Congressional District, encompassing Central Virginia and cities including Charlottesville and Lynchburg. McGuire narrowly had the lead over Good by 31,411 votes to 31,126, with all 303 precincts reporting late Tuesday evening. According to the Virginia Public Access Project, 2,099 early votes still needed to be counted as of 10:45 p.m. Eastern Time.

Good lost the support of former President Donald Trump after he endorsed Ron DeSantis. McGuire tapped into the Trump card hosting conservative Marjorie Taylor Green for campaign events. McGuire is a former Navy Seal who served as a delegate and state senator, and he's a loyal Trump supporter. In 2021, he attended the Jan. 6 riot in Washington D.C. and even took a selfie from the west gate of the U.S. Capitol, although he claims not to have entered the Capitol building that day. 

McGuire and Good each raised over $1 million in donations, far outpacing the district's leading Democrat, Gloria Tinsley Witt, who raised $20,000. Witt received 58.7% of the votes, with 189 of 303 precincts reporting. 

Republican Navy veteran Hung Cao will face incumbent U.S. Senator Tim Kaine in November after securing victory over four other candidates in the Republican U.S. Senate primary. Cao unsuccessfully ran for the 10th Congressional District in 2022 but secured former President Donald Trump's endorsement for the primaries.

Cao received 61.7% of the votes, with all precincts reporting. Fellow veteran Eddie Garcia and former Ron DeSantis staffer Scott Parkinson managed to get around 10% of the vote, according to the Virginia Department of Elections.

Cao came under fire when the Super PAC Unleash America, for which he serves as honorary chairman, was accused of misleading donors into believing their money would go towards supporting Virginia candidates. He added fuel to the fire when he called the outlet that reported on the allegations, the Staunton Newsleader, a "podunk local newspaper."

"I'm facing an opponent who called a Staunton newspaper 'podunk' and claimed that traveling from Northern Virginia to Abingdon for a candidate forum would be 'ridonkulous,'" Kaine said in a statement. "How elitist!"

Cao lists border security as one of his top priorities. 

"Thank you Virginia!" Cao posted on X. "For our win to coincide with the date of Joe Biden's amnesty for illegal immigrants highlights the stakes of this November's election. For women like Laken Riley and Rachel Morin, the Biden-Kaine open border policy was literally a matter of life and death."

Cao raised significantly more money than his competitors, raising $2.5 million. Parkinson raised over $900,000. 

Whistleblower Eugene Vindman secured the Democratic nomination in the 7th Congressional District, which is one of Virginia's most economically and socially diverse districts stretching from the rural farmland of Culpeper and Orange County to the Washington D.C. suburbs of Stafford and Prince William County. 

Vindman aims to succeed Abigail Spanberger, who withdrew from the race to focus on her gubernatorial campaign. Vindman and his twin brother, U.S. Army Colonel Alexander Vindman, rose to national prominence when they testified against Trump during his first impeachment trial. 

"I was fired by Trump for standing up to extortion," Vindman posted on X. "Now, I am officially the Democratic nominee in Virginia's 7th Congressional district. On November 5th, we are going to make history by keeping this seat and flipping the House blue–spread the word."

Vindman faced several competitors, primarily state and local legislators and veterans. Vindman raised over $5 million, while none of his counterparts raised $1 million. He dominated the Democratic primary, with 49.28% of the vote as of late Tuesday evening.

On the Republican side, former Green Beret Derrick Anderson won 45.77% of the vote.

"I'll just say that Eugene Vindman and I are very different," Anderson said in a statement. "I'm from here; he moved here recently to run for office. Vindman is running to continue his revenge tour against Donald Trump; I'm running to help the people I grew up with have better lives. Vindman is running to support Biden's furthest-left failures; I'm running to secure the border, take on the crime and drug crisis, and get food, health care, and energy costs down."

Other notable winners include Democrat Suhas Subramanyam in the 10th Congressional District. The Northern Virginia district needed a new candidate after incumbent Jennifer Wexton was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. 

Subramanyam, who currently serves in the state Senate, beat out 11 candidates, including fellow state legislators Dan Helmer, Jennifer Boysko and David Reid and former Speaker of the House of Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn. Subramanyam secured Wexton's endorsement and trailed only Helmer in money raised. 

Subramanyam received 30.39% of the vote, narrowly beating Helmer, who received 26.73%.

"This district is my home. I got married here. My kids were born here. The issues our community faces are personal to our family. I will continue to be a champion for families here and make sure everyone feels like they have a voice," Subramanyam said in a statement. "I deeply thank my congresswoman, friend, and mentor, Jennifer Wexton, for her fearless leadership and support. Our community is so much better off because of her efforts. She will leave big shoes to fill, but I am ready for the challenge."

Provisional votes still need to be voted, as do ballots postmarked as of June 18 that arrive between Wednesday and Friday.

Categories / Elections, Politics, Regional

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