Bob Good, a former Campbell County Supervisor and Director of Athletics Development at Liberty University, is running as the Republican candidate to represent Virginia’s Fifth District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
With the general election coming up on Nov. 3, the tight race for Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District is gathering national attention. Republican candidate Bob Good has received an endorsement from President Donald Trump, while Democrat Cameron Webb has received an endorsement from former President Barack Obama.
Good defeated incumbent representative Denver Riggleman in the Republican primary for Virginia's Fifth Congressional District in June, winning 58 percent of the delegates at the convention. Riggleman lost the support of many conservatives when he officiated a same-sex wedding last year.
The Fifth District includes the City of Charlottesville and the surrounding Albemarle county, as well as counties from the Piedmont and Blue Ridge region up to Fauquier County near Northern Virginia.
The Good campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
According to his website, Good hopes to “bring the conservative principles of financial stewardship and respect for hard working taxpayers back to Washington.”
With about one week left before elections, there is a large discrepancy in fundraising between the two candidates. According to reports filed Oct. 15, Webb has raised over $2.7 million while Good has raised $722,000.
Good has recently received scrutiny for his Financial Disclosure Report and refiled a list of his unearned income Oct. 5. Good’s previous financial disclosure listed zero financial assets, but he amended this disclosure after pressure from local news organizations and now records that he holds dozens of stocks, totalling between $213,000 and $1.65 million in assets and unearned income.
In addition to the president, Good has received endorsements from Donald Trump Jr., Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, Idaho Congressman Russ Fulcher and Congressman Ben Cline from Virginia’s 6th District.
“We need reliable representatives in the House who won’t falter from their conservative principles and who are willing to fight for them,” Cruz said in a quote on Good’s campaign website.
Good’s leading issues of concern include strengthening law and order and immigration policies, growing and maintaining American jobs, supporting the Second Amendment right to bear arms, increasing rural broadband for internet access and shifting towards greater domestic energy production. Good also takes a strong stance against abortion and the right to life, affirming that he is unreservedly pro-life.
“I am unashamedly 100 percent pro-life from the moment of conception, without exception, and will always strongly support legislation that protects all life in the womb,” Good said on his abortion policy.
This includes supporting legislation such as the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2019 which would deny federal funding to Planned Parenthood, the Support and Value Expectant Mother and Babies Act — which would prohibit new abortion drugs from being created — and the Life at Conception Act, of which Good is a co-sponsor and would guarantee the 14th Amendment right to life to any human being beginning at the moment of fertilization.
Law & Order
Good also has campaign promises under the category he titles ‘Law and Order.’ This category encompasses legislation relating to police departments and the conduct of police officers. Sheriffs from Bedford, Buckingham, Campbell, Fauquier, Greene, Mecklenburg, Pittsylvania and Rappahannock counties have expressed their support for the campaign. If elected, Good hopes to increase funding to police departments and create a Law Enforcement “Bill of Rights” to protect police officers from investigation and prosecution, as well as increase funding for police departments. The “Bill of Rights,” has been adopted by several states yet is becoming an issue of concern. Under these rights, officers are given greater protection through rules that increase waiting periods between accusations and inquiries of police misconduct, records of misconduct are erased after a certain period of time, and requirements that officers be investigated only by other officers.
Good hopes to designate crimes against police officers as hate crimes and has previously expressed support for an automatic death penalty for the killing of a police officer.
Good’s economic policies include bringing back and growing American jobs. Good supports replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement with the United State-Mexico-Canada Agreement. USMCA is Trump’s replacement for NAFTA, the free trade agreement designed to promote trade between Canada, Mexico and the United States. USMCA creates incentives to car companies to use parts made in the United States by requiring 75 percent of parts to be produced in North America to qualify for zero tariffs. Automakers will need to reach 75 percent in the next few years, as this figure is significantly higher than NAFTA’s provision which required that 62.5 percent of parts be made in North America. USMCA also opens Canadian dairy markets to American farmers. Good hopes to lessen the power of unions and supports “Right to Work” laws, which allow employees to work without joining a union.
“I believe it is the role of the Federal government to protect American jobs for American workers, to secure our borders including the building of a wall on our southern border,” Good said on his campaign website.
Good plans to work towards ending “sanctuary cities” and in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants, which Governor Ralph Northam expanded in April. The current bill allows students to be eligible for in-state tuition regardless of citizenship status as long as Virginia residency requirements are met. By banning sanctuary cities, areas where undocumented immigrants are protected by the municipality, local law enforcement would be required to inform ICE officials of undocumented immigrants in custody. In the Fifth District, Albemarle County is a sanctuary jurisdiction.
Good supports the construction of a wall along the United States-Mexico border and the construction of other infrastructure that will give the United States more control over those who enter and exit the country.
Good supports ending immigration policies such as birthright citizenship, chain migration, diversity visas and the visa lottery system. The visa lottery system intends to diversify the immigrant population in the country by selecting applicants from countries with low numbers of immigrants coming to the United States.
Both Good and Webb have focused policies on rural areas, which have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Job loss, compounded by a lack of access to high speed internet, has become a problem for many rural families. Good plans to provide tax breaks and grants to incentivise private internet companies to expand their infrastructure so that rural families can access high speed internet services.
Nearly 30 percent of Virginia residents have no access to internet service, and in some rural areas, wireless telephone service is unavailable. While on the Board of Supervisors in Campbell County, Good helped bring broadband internet to local neighborhoods by expanding existing coverage to underserved areas. He sees this as essential for the public good, as telemedicine, learning and commerce now rely on internet connectivity.
“I’m pleased that [rural broadband] is a priority here in Virginia in our state leadership, and it would also be a priority for me on the federal level,” Good said in a series of responses during the Senior Statesmen of Virginia debate Sept. 9.
Despite beating Riggleman as the Republican candidate, Good has lost support from some conservative groups who had previously supported Riggleman. Bearing Drift, a conservative newspaper that covers Virginia politics, cites Good’s “extremist” take on policy issues, such as his stance on LGBTQ+ rights. In an article posted on Good’s website, homosexuality is described as “a very complex subject that medical science has confirmed is psychological moreso than genetic.”
Seats in the House of Representatives are up for election every two years. Democrats hold 232 seats and Republicans hold 198. In order to gain a majority of 218 seats, Republicans must win the four current vacancies in the House and gain 16 seats. Since 2008, Virginia’s Fifth district has elected a Republican.
The race for the Fifth district is now characterized as a toss-up, according to Sabato’s Crystal Ball. An Oct. 4-8 poll conducted by the Global Strategy Group places Webb up over Good by 2 percent. According to previous polls, Webb has only recently managed to pull ahead of Good as of late September. VA-05 has a history of voting Republican, with only one Democratic candidate elected to office since 2000.
Early voting continues in the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County through Oct. 31. Oct. 23 is the last day to request a mail-in ballot.