It’s too early to call the Virginia GOP primary between the House caucus chairman and the Trump-backed challenger

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House Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good speaks with reporters outside the U.S. Capitol on April 19, 2024.



CNN

The Republican primary race between Virginia Rep. Bob Good, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus who has angered allies of former President Donald Trump and former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, as well as state Sen. John McGuire was too early to call Tuesday night.

The congressman from Virginia’s 5th Congressional District faced a fierce effort to eliminate him from a large portion of the GOP in what became the costliest Republican primary of the cycle. As one of the key architects of the move to oust McCarthy last fall, Good drew the ire of the former president’s allies, who spent millions seeking revenge. Good also lost Trump’s support after supporting the Florida governor. Ron DeSantis in the 2024 Republican presidential primary.

As of Tuesday night, less than a point separated McGuire and Good, a margin small enough that a second-place finisher could request a recount if it held up. Mail-in ballots may continue to arrive until Friday.

Good appreciated the state of the race Tuesday night.

“As of now, we are still waiting for the final results from today’s primary election,” he wrote on X. “While we wait, I wanted to thank you for your support so far. You made sure your vote was cast.

Eugene Vindman, a retired Army colonel and key figure in Trump’s first impeachment, will win the Democratic primary for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District plans, according to CNN.

Vindman is seeking to succeed the outgoing Democratic representative. Abigail Spanberger in what should be a competitive race this fall with the House GOP’s slim majority at stake.

Vindman and his twin brother, retired Army Lt. Collar. Alexander Vindman is best known for his role in the impeachment after both expressed concerns over a 2019 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During that call, Trump reportedly requested an investigation into Hunter Biden, the son of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Alexander Vindman was a star witness during the 2020 impeachment hearing, and the twins — who both worked for the National Security Council — became heroes of Democratic activists opposed to the former president.

Vindman’s role in Trump’s impeachment likely made a difference in his campaign. While most of his primary opponents were current and former elected officials, the first-time candidate raised $5 million through May 29, federal records show. That haul was about four times the combined total of the six other Democrats running.

Spanberger, the incumbent congresswoman, is leaving her seat to run for governor next year. A former CIA officer, she won a third term in 2022 with a 5-point lead.

Representative from Oklahoma. Tom Cole, the veteran Republican who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, will face a tough primary challenge in the state’s 4th Congressional District, CNN projects.

Cole is expected to win a four-way primary that includes insurance broker Paul Bondar, who has loaned his campaign more than $5 million through May 29 and has blanketed the airwaves with ads.

Cole, a longtime Republican operative, had the support of former President Trump. But Bondar presented himself as a more conservative alternative to the veteran Congressman. He also sought to undermine ties between Trump and Cole, running ads highlighting Cole’s donations to Trump’s primary Republican rivals in 2024 before they ran for president.

First elected to Congress in 2002, Cole had easily overcome primary challenges in previous elections. He has maintained close ties with conservatives in the House — and voted against certifying some 2020 election results and voting against Trump’s impeachment twice.

“He almost always voted with me, including on the two impeachment hoaxes,” Trump said in his support of Cole in early May.

Perhaps the most unusual aspect of Tuesday’s race was how new Bondar’s ties to Oklahoma are. After spending most of his career in Illinois, Bondar moved to Texas in 2020, living near Dallas — where he voted in the Republican primary last March. Then, in April, he launched his congressional campaign in Oklahoma. State voting records show Bondar’s in-person early vote during his primary race is the first time he has voted in Oklahoma. Cole’s allies ran ads questioning Bondar’s residency.

The pro-Cole super PAC Americans 4 Security aired a 30-second spot comparing the primary to the Red River Rivalry — a notoriously bitter rivalry featuring the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas. It highlighted Cole’s long-standing ties to Sooner State, including the fact that he was a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, and described his opponent as “Texan Paul Bonder, all the way from Dallas trying to buy a seat in Congress in Oklahoma.”

“Don’t let a Longhorn try to take our Sooner spot,” the ad said, referring to both schools’ mascots.

Bondar’s campaign responded with an ad claiming the challenger owns a home in Oklahoma and has purchased a 500-acre property “to build his dream home” in Caddo. The ad featured former owner Cheyenne Stanley saying he sold both of the Bondars’ properties, the first “about two years ago.”

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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