With Virginia Primary Undecided, Rep. Bob Good Seeks Funds for Recount

The Republican primary between Representative Bob Good of Virginia, the chairman of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus, and his Trump-backed challenger was still up in the air on Monday almost a week after the balloting, as the two election deniers settled in for a lengthy and ugly fight over who was the true victor.

John J. McGuire, a little-known state senator and former Navy SEAL who attended the “Stop the Steal” rally outside the White House on Jan. 6, 2021, held a razor-thin lead of just under 375 votes out of the nearly 63,000 votes cast, according to The Associated Press. He declared victory last Tuesday night before all the votes were counted, and on Monday, former President Donald J. Trump, who endorsed him, declared Mr. McGuire the winner in a social media post.

But The A.P. said on Monday that the contest was too close to call, noting that while it would be unusual for a recount to shift the outcome of such a race, it would not be impossible. And Mr. Good has already made it clear he will seek a recount, an option under Virginia law, which allows such a request if the winner of a race is less than one percentage point ahead of his opponent.

“While not unprecedented, it is rare for a race of this nature to shift by a few hundred votes during a recount,” The A.P. said in explaining its finding that the race was “too close to call.” “However, A.P. research has found that Virginia has a history of making small vote corrections after Election Day and that some past statewide races have shifted by hundreds of votes during a recount.”

Mr. Good would have to pay for the recount himself because he trails Mr. McGuire by 0.6 of a percentage point, just above the 0.5 percentage point difference below which the state would finance it.

He appeared on Monday on “War Room,” the podcast hosted by the former Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon, to appeal for financial backing for the fight, which he said would include challenging the certification of the results reported by Lynchburg, the largest city in the district.

“I hate to be crass about it, Steve, but we depleted resources trying to win this primary,” Mr. Good said. “We believe we did win the primary even though we were vastly outspent. I need help funding the recount challenge.”

The race in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains has largely revolved around Mr. Trump, with the two candidates competing to pitch themselves as the true loyalist and champion of the former president’s hard-right agenda. It has splintered the MAGA movement and the G.O.P. itself and highlighted the shifting alliances, personal feuds and chaotic maneuvering that have come to define the party as much as any ideological or policy position.

Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy also played a role, seeking to defeat Mr. Good after the Virginia congressman was one of eight Republicans to vote last year to oust him from his post.

Annie Karni contributed reporting.

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