On a trip Friday to Amherst, U.S. Rep. Bob Good, R-5th District, had lunch with a group of supporters in a county he is seeking to soon represent in a newly drawn district that includes eight new localities.
Good, a freshman congressman and staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, recently announced his bid for the Republican nomination in seeking a second term. During a campaign stop at Vito’s Restaurant, he said in an interview he is excited to soon represent Amherst County and will do his best to earn voters’ support in the May 21 Republican convention and Nov. 8 general election.
He said he is focused on several key issues in the midterm elections crucial for the GOP in regaining control of the U.S. House and Senate, including public education and fighting against “indoctrination of our kids from Washington with radical policies that parents are rejecting.” He promotes school choice and parental control in the wearing of face coverings during the pandemic, an issue school divisions across Virginia are wrestling with after Gov. Glenn Youngkin recently issued Executive Order 2, which makes mask-wearing optional for families.
Good said vaccines shouldn’t be mandated on citizens who don’t want them and children should not be forced to wear masks in schools, which he publicly has referred to as “child abuse” before school boards in the district, which recently was redrawn to include Lynchburg and Amherst County.
“I’m thankful the stand Gov. Youngkin has taken on that and we continue to support him in that,” Good said of giving parents choice with masks in schools.
Good said strengthening border security and the “invasion” of illegal immigrants also are issues he’s been aggressive with. He said he’s been to the U.S.-Mexico border three times and plans to go again during this quarter.
Good also mentioned the federal government’s spending and $29 trillion debt, which he said is a cause of massive inflation and decreasing citizens’ purchasing power, as an area he is focused on. He also opposes vaccine mandates and said he has been “very bold and aggressive against the oppression” of executive branches of government under the administrations of President Joe Biden and former Gov. Ralph Northam.
Good, a former Campbell County Board of Supervisors member who in 2020 defeated former U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman, a Nelson County businessman, for the GOP nomination, served on the House Freedom Caucus’s governing board. He also is a member of the House Education & Labor Committee and the House Budget Committee.
Dan Moy, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and adjunct professor at the University of Virginia’s Batten School of Public Safety, is challenging Good for the Republican nomination in the new district that includes much of the Lynchburg region. A handful of candidates have declared candidacy for the Democratic nomination, including Andy Parker, whose daughter, Alison, a television journalist was killed in 2015 in Franklin County during an on-camera interview; and Shadi Ayyas, Lewis Combs, Warren McLellan and Josh Throneburg.
Amherst County isn’t currently part of the 5th congressional district, but that will change next year once the newly redrawn district maps, which the state supreme court approved in December, take effect. Amherst residents will be able to vote for representation in the new 5th in this year’s May 21 convention and Nov. 8 election.
Good spoke with Amherst residents Friday about upholding individual liberties and referred to vaccine and mask mandates and the shutdowns from COVID-19 as an “intrusion into our lives” and threats to personal freedoms. He used an analogy of dangers people face getting into their vehicles and driving and not passing laws to make the speed limit 5 miles an hour to prevent all traffic fatalities. He compared it to how people drive vehicles, yet society doesn’t pass laws to make the speed limit only 5 miles an hour even though such a measure might prevent all traffic fatalities.
“We assume some risk in a free society,” Good said.
He said Biden has done irreparable harm and criticized the president’s and Democrats’ COVID-19 policies and a determination by some in government to “make life miserable for those who don’t obey and comply and surrender the essential freedoms that are at the core of who we are.”
“We have been very bold and aggressive on the masks, saying we cannot obey ourselves into personal freedom and individual liberty,” said Good. “We have to resist. Thankfully, our founders of our country resisted.”
He said local school boards should reflect communities’ conservative values, including the support of parental choice in masks being optional in schools.
“It’s not our government’s job to protect us from ourselves, which is why I don’t believe in any vaccine mandates,” Good said.
Vance Wilkins, chair of the Amherst County Republican Committee and former Virginia Speaker of the House, said he thinks Good will do well in Amherst, a county that routinely leans Republican, if given a second term.
“My north star is the concept of individual liberty,” Wilkins said, adding he thinks Good has exemplified it as much as any lawmaker he’s encountered. “If you stop and think about it, everything is secondary as far as anything we want government to do. Protecting our liberty is the key to everything. All the other benefits we have in this country come from that concept of liberty.”