Virginia's 5th Congressional Race a Rare Toss-Up

A Democrat could win the seat for only the second time this century

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A reliably Republican congressional district in Virginia is considered a toss-up this year.

The 5th Congressional District runs from Fauquier County to the Virginia-North Carolina state line.

Republican Bob Good defeated incumbent first-term Rep. Denver Riggleman in the GOP primary.

"I’m a constitutional conservative, fiscal conservative and identify on a personal level as biblical conservative as well," Good says.

"To me conservatism means preserving what is good about America."

Democrat Dr. Cameron Webb works at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

"I’m passionate about public service, and that’s something I got from my parents," Webb says.

His mother was a public school speech therapist, and his father worked in law enforcement.

The coronavirus pandemic is the top issue in the race.

Good defends how President Donald Trump has handled it.

“I think on balance he’s done a great job,” Good said. “It’s hard to say anyone can do a perfect job with something that’s unprecedented.”

Webb sees room for improvement.

“I really do think the administration as a whole could do better to lean into the science, lean into the scientists who could lead this effort,” he said.

In a recent debate, Webb, who wears a mask while campaigning, scolded his opponent for not wearing one.

Good said he’s not convinced masks make a difference. 

“I had one doctor tell me that wearing a mask is like putting up a chain link fence to keep out mosquitoes,” he said. 

Good has focused much of his campaign on his support for law enforcement and accuses Webb of wanting to defund police.

“He has said nothing to criticize the violence and rioting that’s been happening in our cities, the attacks on innocent civilians, innocent law enforcement, quite frankly, trying to keep us safe,” Good said.

Webb points to his own father's background in law enforcement and says Good is wrong.

“We can invest in community-oriented policing,” Webb said. “You can’t do that without officers having adequate salaries; you can’t do that without having the number of officers necessary so they can get to know their community.”

A Democrat hasn't won Virginia's 5th District since 2008.

Trump won it by 11 percentage points in 2016.

But this year, Webb has set records for fundraising, pulling in four times as much money as Good.

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