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by Brandon Jarvis

VA-05 Republican candidate John McGuire is facing a lawsuit for defamation after naming an individual in a press release earlier this year.

In March, the McGuire campaign sent out a press release saying that a supporter of his primary opponent, Rep. Bob Good, R-VA05, assaulted a woman at an event. Paul Raymond was cited in the press release as the Good supporter who allegedly committed the assault. 

A judge dismissed the charge against Raymond. 

The press release sent out by the McGuire campaign had the subject line: “POLICE CALLED: Team Good attacks Team Trump AGAIN.” 

The release then describes the events that happened that day in late March. 

“Bob Good’s top supporters verbally and physically assaulted Trump Store owner Karen Angulo at a GOP meeting in Appomattox, then proceeded to remove Trump staffer Ramona Christian from her Buckingham GOP Chairmanship for not supporting Good,” it reads. 

The press release includes a quote from Karen Angulo, the woman who accused Raymond of assaulting her. 

“Bob Good doesn’t like Trump and he doesn’t like being called out on the fact that he’s a Never Trumper, but it’s true,” she said. “I called him out on it and one of Good’s goons assaulted me. Yet another episode that shows why Good needs to go.”

McGuire’s campaign wrote that Raymond shoved Angulo in an email blast sent out to the press. 

The courts did not find that Angulo was assaulted, however, and the charges were dismissed, according to court records. 

Raymond has now filed a lawsuit seeking damages from Angulo and McGuire. 

“We’re confident this suit will succeed because the truth is evident and a multitude of witnesses physically saw what did and, most importantly, did not take place,” said Elliott Harding, Raymond’s attorney. “My client never touched Ms. Angulo and the reckless disregard for the truth by the defendants has caused significant harm. Not only did Mr. Raymond have to face a false criminal charge that was immediately dismissed by the courts, but then the McGuire campaign made things much worse by sending out allegations of criminal behavior referring to Mr. Raymond by name and identifying his role in a local church.”

Raymond is seeking $150,000 from McGuire and Angulo for defamation and an additional $50,000 from Angulo for malicious prosecution. 

“This is defamation no matter how you look at it and the sad part is that it was so unnecessary,” Harding said. “We’re hopeful to have it resolved soon so everyone can move on while making up for the harm that’s been caused.”

The McGuire campaign declined to comment for this story. 

He and Good are running in a contentious primary for the VA-05 seat.

Former President Donald Trump recently announced his endorsement of McGuire on his social media platform Truth Social.

Good endorsed Ron DeSantis in the presidential primary, then quickly announced his support of Trump after the Florida governor dropped out of the race.

It was too late for Trump, however.

“[Good] turned his back on our incredible movement, and was constantly attacking and fighting me until recently, when he gave a warm and ‘loving’ Endorsement – But really, it was too late,” Trump wrote in his endorsement statement of McGuire.

The Trump campaign also sent a cease and desist letter to Good’s campaign telling him to stop using his name and likeness in campaign materials.

Primary day is June 18. Early voting has already started.

By vascope