LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — On Saturday, the 5th District Republican Committee held a convention and chose challenger Bob Good as their candidate over the incumbent Congressman Denver Riggleman, but Good’s fight is far from over
“It is an outcome that’s going to have some reverberations for the Republican Party,” said Karen Hult, political science professor and WFXR News political analyst, “certainly in the 5th district and possibly in the state of Virginia more generally.”
Good missed the filing deadline for his name to appear on the ballot in November.
According to the 5th District Republican Committee, he has since filed the paperwork with the State Board of Elections. However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, some believe the Board will be lenient.
“I would imagine that would be the case,” said David Richards, Chair of the Political Science and Security Studies departments at the University of Lynchburg. “They’ve done this before, and it is strange times.”
A spokesperson with the Virginia Department of Elections confirmed they now have Good’s paperwork and the Board will decide whether or not to grant an extension.
“They could always say no,” said Richards, “but that would be kind of a big deal if they said no. Of course that would easily open up the way for Riggleman to run as an independent or something like that, which he may do anyway.”
“I’m not really sure what his options are exactly,” said Richards, “absent some clear smoking gun that showed clear interference in the process.”
A potential independent run could split the Republican vote.
“To the extent that 2020 is a wave election for Democrats, there’s a possibility that this seat could flip from Republican to Democrat,” said Hult.
Hult said Democratic enthusiasm for November is high, with both a Senate seat in Virginia and the Presidency up for grabs.
The Democratic primary for the 5th District seat is on Tuesday, June 23, but the deadline to request a mail-in absentee ballot for any Virginia primary election that day is Tuesday, June 16.
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