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Too many votes out to call 5th District race between Good and Webb

Though there were no definitive results Tuesday evening, both of Virginia’s 5th Congressional District candidates spent much of the day in Albemarle County in a final bid to win over voters.

Republican Bob Good and Democrat Cameron Webb have presented disparate visions for the massive district, which stretches nearly the length of the state and includes most of the Charlottesville area.

Good, a self-described “bright red” conservative and former member of the Campbell County Board of Supervisors, has been subject to an unusually tight race in the reliably red district. In June, Good defeated Rep. Denver Riggelman for the nomination in a drive-thru convention that was subject to controversy among some district Republicans.

Webb, a doctor, assistant professor of medicine and director of health policy and equity at the University of Virginia, has gained traction over the last several months, highlighting his bipartisan work under both the administrations of Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

As of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, final results had not been reported.

With around 55% of the votes reported, Good was ahead of Webb by nearly 55,000 votes. However, this number did not include nearly 175,000 early in-person and mail-in ballots.

By press deadline, 293 of 307 precincts had reported Tuesday’s in-person results while only 10 of 23 central absentee precincts had done the same.

Nationwide, various outlets have reported that Democratic voters were more likely to vote absentee, which, if true locally, could complicate Good’s lead.

Earlier in the day, Webb arrived at Laurel Baptist Church in Albemarle County as the sun began to set. The stop was one of many Webb made throughout the day in a final push to drum up support.

Clad in a mask, Webb greeted voter Minnie Tyler and her children, Justyce and Justyn Bryant.

“Future voters are my favorite,” Webb said, kneeling to talk to the children.

After posing for pictures, Webb greeted representatives from the county’s Republican Party who were handing out sample ballots. Among those volunteers was Diana Shores, a senior member of Good’s campaign staff.

Shores said Republicans throughout the district had shown up in force to vote, particularly in smaller, more conservative localities such as Pittsylvania County. As a long-time participant in Republican campaigns within the district, Shores said candidates, regardless of party, were civil and polite to those from opposing parties.

“I think we need more of that and we need to understand that this is a process and anybody can be part of that process,” she said.

Webb, who began traveling throughout the district before polls opened at 6 a.m., said he had seen lines in Fluvanna County in the morning but that the number of voters dropped by the early evening.

With less than two hours left until polls closed, Webb said he was proud of the race he had run and was confident in the resonance of his campaign’s message.

“This is such a competitive race and I’m feeling good about the energy behind our campaign and the ability to reach out,” he said. “We’ve gotten a lot of support from folks across ideological backgrounds and it has been really exciting to see and to hear people come up to us and tell us that.”

Fourteen miles away, Good was wrapping up a day of final campaigning that saw him spend most of his time at Stone-Robinson Elementary School. During an unusual election year, Good said they chose the polling location because it seemed like a good place to have maximum impact in a busy precinct in a large county.

“We felt like we were very well received and we’re encouraged by the enthusiasm for our campaign,” he said. “We like the feeling we have for the entire district today and we think we’re gonna have a good night.”

Although endorsed by Trump, Good said he did not share the president’s concerns about mail-in ballots, at least not in Virginia, where absentee ballots are sent to voters upon request. However, Good did express some frustration with the reality of this election, which may not see a final result until all eligible absentee ballots have been received and counted Friday.

“We want every legitimate ballot to be counted, of course, but I think everyone probably would prefer to have the counting done tonight, if at all possible,” Good said. “But that’s the laws we have here for Virginia, so we’ll be waiting for the ultimate final results on Friday.”


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