Voters in Virginia’s fifth Congressional District headed to the polls for the Nov. 8 midterm elections have the chance to cast their ballots for either incumbent Republican Bob Good or Democrat Josh Throneburg. As the House of Representatives race intensifies, both candidates have emphasized their respective policies — Good’s focus on securing the U.S. border and protecting Second Amendment rights in contrast to Throneburg’s goals to mitigate climate change and support younger generations.
The fifth Congressional District includes Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville among a total of 735,766 inhabitants of neighboring southern Virginia counties.
Good has represented the district since 2021, when he won against Democrat and University alumnus Cameron Webb by a close margin of 20,673 votes — around 6 percent. A Democrat has not been elected to represent the district in the House since Tom Perriello’s 2008 win.
Most recently, Good has served on the House Committee on Budget and the Committee on Education and the Workforce. A graduate of Liberty University, Good has characterized himself as a “biblical and constitutional conservative.”
“I hope that you realize, as conservatives, that we truly are at war with the future of our country,” Good said at an event hosted by Young Americans for Freedom University in 2021.
If re-elected, Good’s priorities include enforcing border security, expanding Second Amendment rights and protecting American freedoms.
Good has consistently defended Second Amendment rights, arguing that instead of assault rifle bans, the government should bolster police presence and crack down on crime.
“With the words ‘shall not be infringed,’ the Second Amendment unequivocally protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” Good’s website reads. “The Constitution and Bill of Rights shall not be subjected to the whims of Speaker Pelosi and the radical House Democrats.
To protect the U.S. border, Good has supported stricter immigration laws, as well as increased funding for border security. He co-sponsored the “No-Tax Break for Sanctuary Cities Act” last February, which seeks to deny tax exempt status for bonds in local governments that have labeled themselves as sanctuary areas for undocumented immigrants.
Backed by former president Donald Trump in his previous election, Good has aligned himself with “MAGA” politics and, during his previous term, voted against verifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory. He also voted against awarding Congressional Gold Medals to police officers who defended the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
As a representative of Virginia, Good has voiced support for the full elimination of abortions in the state following the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade this summer, and plans to vote for a national 15-week ban — along with Governor Glenn Youngkin —- if reelected.
Good’s campaign team declined to comment.
Throneburg emerged unopposed from the Democratic primaries — his first foray into the political sphere — after three other candidates withdrew. An ordained minister and small business owner, he cites his understanding of Republican politics as key to uniting the aisle.
“As somebody who has spent kind of half my life on the farm and half my life in cities, half my life with a strong Republican influence and half my life in more Democratic areas … I think it allows me the opportunity to connect with lots of different kinds of people,” Throneburg said.
Confronting climate change is one of Throneburg’s major goals. He views innovations such as solar fields as solutions to both slow climate change and stimulate the economy, particularly given the amount of open land in VA-05.
“I see climate change not only as a threat to our future, but I see it also as an opportunity for us to really build a stronger and more enduring economy,” Throneburg said.
Speaking to the importance of turnout among young voters — who he said will deal with the consequences of climate change for longer than his own generation — Throneburg shared that in early voting between the population aged 18 to 50, the highest participation so far has been from those in the 18-to-24-year-old range.
He also spoke to the importance of education, and has announced plans to expand Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Pell Grant eligibility, as well as federal funding for school infrastructure.
“We have really wanted to make it clear that so much of my drive as a candidate is rooted in my kids and in their generation and in your generation, making sure that you have a future that you can actually thrive in,” Throneburg said.
The two candidates face off in their first and only debate this Wednesday at Hampden-Sydney College. Throneburg said he sees the event — which will be streamed on WSET — as a chance to convey his openness to other perspectives.
“To be honest, my opponent has made it very clear that he is not interested in working with Democrats,” Throneburg said. “I'm someone who wants to work with anyone of goodwill that is trying to make a better future. And so I hope that at least one of the things that watchers see [the night of the debate] is how he and I differ in terms of how we see the other side.”
Absentee and mail-in ballot requests are due Oct. 28, and early voting began Sept. 24 and continues until Nov. 5. Polls open at 6 a.m. on Election Day and will remain open until 7 p.m.
Fifth district residents can verify their registration status through the Virginia Department of Elections citizen portal, and voters can locate the nearest polling station through the department’s website.