john mcguire

John McGuire/YouTube

Trump-backed House candidate claiming victory in Virginia voted against ending child marriage

He was the only state senator to vote against the bill.

 

Katherine Huggins

Tech

The Republican challenger to Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) is drawing outrage on social media for his vote in March against legislation closing a loophole that allowed some minors in the state of Virginia to get married.

State senator John McGuire (R), a former Navy SEAL, is currently leading the right-wing House Freedom Caucus chair by just 0.5% in a cliffhanger primary contest that is testing the influence of an endorsement from former President Donald Trump.

McGuire scored the support of Trump as retaliation for Good initially backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for president in the 2024 Republican primary.

According to the Virginia Department of Elections, only 311 votes separate McGuire and Good.

McGuire has claimed victory in the race but Good has yet to concede, believing uncounted provisional and mail-in ballots could put him over the edge.

“We are asking for full transparency from the officials involved and patience from the people of the 5th District over the coming weeks as the certification of results is completed,” Good wrote on Wednesday. “We believe we can still prevail.”

Amid the tense primary challenge, a number of social media users highlighted a decision McGuire took in March to vote down state legislation banning child marriage.

The bill, signed into law by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) in April, goes into effect in July and makes Virginia the 12th state to completely ban child marriage. The state previously allowed for certain 16 and 17-year-olds to wed.

McGuire was the only state senator to oppose the amended bill, with the 39 other senators all voting in favor. On the House side, the bill was adopted by a closer margin of 57-40.

That vote is being highlighted by both left-wing and right-wing critics of McGuire.

“This creature thinks it’s perfectly NORMAL for an eight year old to marry a fifty five year old!” blasted one conservative X user early in June before calling for voters to back Good.

“Reminder that John McGuire voted against banning child marriage,” wrote another self-described Trump supporter. While Good bucked Trump for president, he’s otherwise been a longtime MAGA supporter.

Left-wing users offered their own criticism, with one user writing that he “has NO place in congress !!!!!!”

“Periodic reminder that John McGuire is pro-Child Marriage,” wrote one Democratic staffer.

The Daily Dot has reached out to McGuire’s campaign for comment.

Legislation in 2016 raised the age for marriage in Virginia to 16 in certain cases. Prior to that, 16 and 17-year-olds could marry with parental consent and children even younger than that could in the case of a pregnancy.

According to NBC 4, 27 minors have wed in Virginia since 2019.


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