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‘Fight of crazy against crazy’: Wounded Rep. Bob Good confronts ‘forces of evil’

WASHINGTON — If Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) is on a mission from God, as he maintains, someone might want to tell God already.

Since Virginia voters cast their Republican primary ballots on June 18, the two-term incumbent who chairs the far-right Freedom Caucus has been trailing his opponent, state Sen. John McGuire, by upward of 300 votes out of just over 62,000 ballots cast.

Good’s demanding a recount. He’s also trying to pray away “the forces of evil” conspiring against him.

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“I think it’s owed to the 31,000 people in the district who voted for me, and there's those true conservatives in Virginia and across the country that are outraged at the forces of evil that tried to influence this race — that did influence this race — and we owe it to them to make sure that it's right,” Good told Raw Story after voting in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

By “forces of evil,” Good doesn’t mean former President Donald Trump or even Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) — both of whom backed McGuire.

To Good, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is evil incarnate. That feeling has seemed mutual since Good and seven other House Republicans ingloriously, if historically, ousted McCarthy last year.

Good is a graduate of and former fundraiser for Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. Arguably, his biggest critic contends he’s blinded by his own light.

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“He can't win a real primary, because he's insane,” former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA), who Good defeated in 2020, told Raw Story. “There's no such thing as ‘forces of evil.’ Listen, stupidity and evil look very similar. And I think that's where he gets confused, because he's stupid.”

As is easily surmised, Riggleman — an ex-intelligence official who worked as a data analyst for the select Jan. 6 committee — is no fan of Good.

Good ended Riggleman’s time in Congress in part because he made an issue out of Riggleman officiating a same-sex marriage for a former staffer the year earlier. Good and officials in Virginia’s Republican Party also forced an in-person convention — in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic — of the party faithful, instead of conducting a Republican congressional primary.

Denver Riggleman Former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA). JLauer/Shutterstock

In the wake of this year’s primary, Good is calling for changes to the rules. He’s especially bemoaning the commonwealth's open primary system that allows independents and Democrats to vote in GOP primaries (as well as allowing Republicans to weigh in on Democratic ones.)

“That absolutely should be changed. We should have party registration in VIrginia. We should have closed primaries, or we need to go back to conventions and not allow Democrats to choose our nominee in primaries,” Good said. “There’s no question we would have won a convention.”

Good contends he won the hearts and minds of his party.

“I know we got the majority of Republican votes. The other side had to reach out and did reach out to Democrats crossover votes. It's an unfortunate reality in Virginia that our system allows Democrats to vote in Republican primaries, and we are certain that there were certainly more than 300 or 400 people who voted in this election for my opponent,” Good said.

A request for comment from the campaign of McGuire, a former Navy SEAL, wasn’t returned.

Riggleman dismissed Good’s griping.

“‘Forces of evil’ — so you're telling me that a primary that's actually fair, rather than a convention where they could limit the number of voters to beat me means that the people are the forces of evil?” Riggleman said. “That's somebody who's mentally unstable.”

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Riggleman added: “Yes, he said he could win in a convention. Because the convention is anti-American. A convention is for those who can't win a primary, which we just saw with Bob Good.”

The Virginia Board of Elections has yet to call the race, even as the chair of Virginia’s Republican Party, Richard Anderson, congratulated McGuire for winning earlier this week.

Good currently trails by 0.6 percentage points,, which means he can call for a recount according to state law, though he’s got to come up with a way to pay for it.

Regardless, he says he’s all in.

“There's some things that are concerning and that need to be reviewed, and we're going to do that. And I'm not going to be particular about that process,” Good said. “I’d rather be 300 votes ahead than 300 votes behind.”

But he’s currently behind: Something for which Good blames McCarthy.

ALSO READ: ‘They could have killed me’: Spycraft, ballots and a Trumped-up plot gone haywire

“It’s money that was wasted. It should have been spent in November to defeat Democrats. It's a race that never should have happened,” Good said. “It was a challenge based on lies by a dishonest opponent and funded by the former speaker whose mission in life seems to be to get revenge on those he holds responsible for him not being speaker.”

But Good says it’s not about payback.

“I'm not really concerned about that. We're just gonna do our best to win this recount,” Good said.

To Riggleman, there’s no pleasure watching these two Republicans digitally knife each other over his former seat.

“McGuire’s crazier than Bob Good. Think about that,” Riggleman said. “You're seeing a fight of crazy against crazy. Nobody's the good guy. No, nobody’s the good guy here. This is just people who want power and payback. It has nothing to do with the American people. It's about their own personal self-aggrandizement and power trips.”

Riggleman, in noting he wasn’t conservative enough for Virginia’s 5th Congressional District, mused that Good — one of the nation’s most conservative lawmakers — might also not be conservative enough.

“That's what's crazy about this election,” Riggleman said. “I think Bob represents Christian nationalism. He represents a decision making methodology that's not based in facts; it's based in fantasy. And I think that really is a lure to a lot of GOP voters, that there's this good against evil battle going on out there and they're on the good side, regardless of facts.”


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