Press "Enter" to skip to content

Marjorie Taylor Greene and John McGuire were supposed to hold a campaign stop in Charlottesville. Then plans changed.

Charlottesville’s city government was caught off guard Monday afternoon when it first learned that U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and fellow Republican and congressional candidate Virginia state Sen. John McGuire were planning to visit City Hall.

So too was Albemarle County when, hours later, the McGuire campaign suddenly decided to move its planned “Early Vote Rally to Save America” from City Hall to a county polling location.

Instead of visiting the Charlottesville City Hall Annex as originally advertised, McGuire and Greene will now hold their event at the Albemarle County Social Services building at 1600 Fifth St. at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The change in plans appears to have come shortly after The Daily Progress reached out to the city and the McGuire campaign about the event.

And while it was originally promoted as a “rally,” county officials were assured on Tuesday by the McGuire campaign that it would actually be a “campaign stop to encourage early voting.”

“They do not intend to erect a stage, make speeches or stay for long,” county spokeswoman Abbey Stumpf told The Daily Progress.

As recently as Monday, the McGuire campaign was saying the event would be held at City Hall in Charlottesville. But prior to being contacted by The Daily Progress, no one at City Hall or the Charlottesville Police Department had been made aware of the plans. According to the city, upon learning of the rally, police Capt. Tony Newberry spoke with a McGuire campaign staffer as a courtesy.

“He explained that our offices are nearby and they could be on standby if they needed anything (as we would do for any gathering). The staffer told Captain Newberry that she would get back to him with the exact number of staff that would be in attendance, but we never heard back,” city spokeswoman Afton Schneider told The Daily Progress via email.

Shortly after contacting the city, The Daily Progress reached out to the McGuire campaign, which said it hoped to have a large turnout for a rally outside of City Hall. Forty minutes later, the campaign said the rally was supposed to be at an Albemarle County building and that it would issue a correction. On Monday evening, it sent out a mass email update to voters where it included the “new location.”

Early Monday evening, county officials were still under the impression that the rally would be held in the city. The county voter registrar’s office had no idea the campaign was planning to stop by its Fifth Street polling station.

Stumpf told The Daily Progress that permits are not required for outdoor spaces and no permits for indoor space were filed by the campaign. She also noted that because the event’s new location is a polling place and because early voting is already underway, there will be limitations on where the candidate can campaign.

“There is a designated spot for the parties in the parking lot to set up tables. There are no other formal accommodations,” Stumpf wrote in an email.

Virginia election law forbids campaigning within 40 feet of a polling place and loudspeakers are prohibited within 300 feet. A candidate can spend up to 10 minutes in the polling location but is not allowed to campaign when inside. Localities also have their own voting laws; while tables and booths are permitted in Albemarle County (as long as they are not within 40 feet of polls), they are not permitted in Charlottesville.

“As we do every day, we will continue to accommodate voter registration to occur at our building,” Stumpf wrote. “We will also ensure that voters can access the polling location and that campaign activities occur in the designated areas 40 feet from the polling location.”

Albemarle County will be one of three stops on McGuire and Greene’s Wednesday tour. The pair of hard-right conservatives will start their early vote rally at the Louisa Department of Elections at 2 p.m. and are scheduled to visit the unincorporated community of Rice in Prince Edward County at 5:30 p.m.

The Daily Progress reached out to Greene’s staff regarding the visit and the change of plans with no response.

The decision for the pair to campaign together in Virginia’s 5th Ditrict comes after a pivotal moment in McGuire’s race: former President Donald Trump’s endorsement last week.

It’s a significant victory for McGuire, who has labored to closely align himself with Trump while attacking incumbent Bob Good for being a “Never Trump” Republican. At the heart of McGuire’s campaign is a claim that he is a true MAGA Republican and Good, an ultra-conservative who leads the hard-right Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives, is not.

There is no love lost between the incumbent and his challenger, as Good has responded to the regular attacks by calling McGuire a liar and careerist who will do whatever it takes to win a campaign. Both accuse the other of representing the political establishment.

Good is no fan of Greene either.

“Nobody cares what Marjorie Taylor Greene says or thinks. And she’s a one-man show, she’s grandstanding and she wants attention,” he told CNN in April.

Greene celebrated Trump’s endorsement of McGuire, which came in the form of a Truth Social post in which the former president called Good “BAD FOR VIRGINIA, AND BAD FOR THE USA.”

On X, Greene promoted the Trump message and called Good a “back stabbing traitor,” lambasting his decision to endorse DeSantis.

“John McGuire never wavered and that’s what we need in Washington, those who never waver in the face of Democrat’s politically weaponized government and tyranny,” she wrote.

The 5th District Republican Primary will be held on June 18.


Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *