Republican candidate Bob Good beat Democratic opponent Cameron Webb by a margin of 5.5 percentage points on election night, securing Virginia’s 5th Congressional District seat and ushering in conservative representation for another two years.
Good received 52.6 percent (209,711) of the votes compared to Webb’s 47.1 percent (187,954), according to data from the Virginia Public Access Project.
Chris Shores, general consultant for the Good campaign, said despite prognosticators and talking heads thinking the race would be closer to a 50-50 split, the internal numbers showed otherwise and he expected to get around 53 percent of the votes.
“It was certainly a great victory and a hard-fought campaign, Shores said in an interview with The Virginia Star. We were the underdog in almost every measurable way throughout the nomination process, throughout the general election and were well out-spent, out-gunned in terms of political allies and investments from the other side, so it was a hard-fought victory.”
Shores continued: “We were a mean, lean team if you will. We probably had about a third of the staff that we needed to run a congressional campaign of this magnitude. Each person on our campaign gave it 110 percent and everybody was dedicated to the cause.”
The Star reached out to the Webb campaign over the phone and through email for comment on the election outcome, but did not get a response before press time.
Following the confirmation of Good’s win, Webb posted a short statement to his Twitter account Wednesday morning.
Webb wrote: “Life is about perspective. You get to choose how you see the road traveled and the road ahead. Thanks to everyone who supported and encouraged us in this race. I’m so proud of the road we traveled together. As for the road ahead, I woke up feeling good. There’s always a plan!”
Life is about perspective. You get to choose how you see the road traveled & the road ahead.
Thanks to everyone who supported & encouraged us in this race. I’m so proud of the road we traveled together. 🙏🏾
As for the road ahead, I woke up feeling good. There’s always a Plan! pic.twitter.com/KO7yHuu8dt
— Dr. Cameron Webb (@DrCameronWebb) November 4, 2020
Overall, Good came out on top in 16 out of the district’s 23 fully or partially encompassing counties. The margin of victory for those counties varied, with the largest occurring in Appomattox County where Good received 70 percent of the votes, while Webb got 23 percent, according to VPAP.
The narrowest victory for Good came in Rappahannock County as only 621 votes separated the candidates.
Webb had a particularly good showing in the City of Charlottesville and the surrounding Albemarle County. In Charlottesville, Webb had nearly a 17,500-vote advantage over Good and received 86.9 percent of the total votes. The difference in Albemarle was not as drastic, but still heavily favored Webb, VPAP data showed.
Webb also won neighboring Fluvanna and Nelson counties by slim margins.
Shores, who described himself as a number’s nerd, said he knew the campaign was going to lose in those jurisdictions, but in general did not see any anomalies among the counties.
The breakdown of 5th District counties that Good won almost perfectly matches with the counties won by President Donald Trump this election.
This race, as well as other congressional races in different states, also exemplifies that the candidate who raises the most money does not always end up as the winner on Election night.
During the campaign, Webb raised more than three times more money than Good, totaling $4,661,020 compared to $1,175,468, according to the Federal Election Commission.
The race for the 5th District also caught the interest of political action committees and other outside organizations, which ended up pouring in millions of dollars. Of the $8.5 million spent in independent expenditures, 90 percent went to anti-Good or anti-Webb efforts, according to VPAP.
Even though Shores was fresh off a victory, he praised Webb calling him a “formidable candidate” and mentioned that Webb had called Good late Tuesday night, civilly conceding the race and offering congratulations.
“The 5th is still a very red district, it’s still a very conservative and traditional district, and Bob will be a strong voice for residents,” Shores said. “He will be an absolute committed constitutional conservative and I expect that he will be invited to join the House Freedom Caucus.”
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Jacob Taylor is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Digital Network. Follow Jacob on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Bob Good” by Bob Good. Photo “Cameron Webb” by the University of Virginia.