Fifth district Republican congressional candidate Bob Good has faced heightened scrutiny over the past week owing to questions about his financial disclosure history and apparent violations of Virginia law as a member of the Campbell County Board of Supervisors.
Earlier this month Good’s campaign amended the mandatory financial disclosure report required of all candidates running for federal office. Good’s amendments revealed nine pages of formerly undeclared assets valued between $213,000 and $1.6 million (values are reported in approximate ranges, not exact dollar amounts).
Federal ethics laws require all candidates and sitting representatives to disclose personal assets and liabilities such as retirement savings, stocks and investments, bank accounts, loans and debts to protect from potential conflicts of interest. In apparent violation of those laws, Good’s previous disclosure statement listed no reportable assets.
The recent correction raises questions about Good’s financial transparency as a member of the Campbell County Board of Supervisors.
Like the federal government, the Commonwealth of Virginia requires public officials to disclose assets and liabilities in annual filings. “Any person who knowingly violates” the Virginia disclosure requirement could face Class 1 misdemeanor charges, punishable by up to one year in jail, $2,500 in fines, or both.
“Transparency is essential for maintaining the public’s trust at all levels of government and elected officials should be held accountable for attempts to avoid disclosing their financial interests,” said Kedric Payne, Senior Director of Ethics at the Campaign Legal Center.
During his four years as a county supervisor from 2016 to 2019, Good reported no personal debts or holdings.
“However, his financial disclosure as a congressional candidate covers 2018 to 2019, and includes loans estimated at $100,000 and securities estimated at over $1 million,” Payne said.
“The loans began in 2015 and the securities were acquired prior to 2018, but Good never disclosed the information in his Campbell County reports as required. Good should explain why there are discrepancies in the federal and state reports because it is a felony to intentionally file false financial disclosure forms in Virginia.”
In an interview with a reporter from Virginia Public Media, Webb’s campaign manager Ben Young said it was “unfortunate that Mr. Good chose to conceal this important information in the first place until after votes had already been cast.”
“Voters deserve full information when they head to the polls and we are glad they have that now,” Young said.
The Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council facilitates compliance with state ethics laws, but does not enforce them. Executive Director Stewart Petoe told the Rappahannock News that he was not in a position to comment at this time.
In September, the Cook Political Report changed its rating for the Fifth district from “Lean Republican” to “Republican Toss-Up.” And just this week, the statistical analysis site FiveThirtyEight crowned the Fifth as the second most competitive house race in the country.