Former Congressman Virgil Goode enters race for Constitution Party presidential nomination

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Congressional photo of Virgil Goode
Image: U.S. Congress.

Former U.S. Republican Party Congressman Virgil Goode of Virginia announced he is running for President of the United States. He told the The Daily Caller on Thursday that he is seeking the 2012 nomination of the Constitution Party on a platform of limited government, a balanced budget, term limits for Congress, and border security.

If he wins the party's nomination, he expects to take votes away from both President Barack Obama and the Republican Party nominee. Goode filed his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on February 10, and had been speculated to make a run since last year.

Goode was elected to Virginia's Fifth U.S. congressional district in 1996 as a Democrat. He was re-elected in 1998, and left the party before the 2000 election to run as an Independent. He joined the Republican Party ahead of the 2002 election, and was re-elected three times until his defeat in 2008. Since then, Goode has joined the Constitution Party, and has served on its executive committee for two years.

The Constitution Party advocates states' rights, gun rights, limited government, protectionism, and non-interventionism, and strongly opposes abortion and illegal immigration. It was founded with the name U.S. Taxpayers Party in 1991, and changed to today's name eight years later. Its voter registration is the third largest among United States political parties with 367,000 members. For the 2008 presidential election, the party nominated pastor Chuck Baldwin, who appeared on 37 state ballots and received 199,314 votes (0.15%).

The party will hold its 2012 nominating convention in April. Others seeking the nomination include former Savannah State football coach Robby Wells.

Political consultant Dave "Mudcat" Saunders suggests Goode's presence on the ballot would take votes away from Republicans, particularly in his home state of Virginia, a potential battleground state that traditionally votes Republican but backed Obama in 2008. "[H]e's going to get some votes down there in the southern end of the 5th District [of Virginia]. No question" says Saunders. "[T]hat's an area that's tough on Democrats". "Whoever votes for Virgil was going to vote for a Republican, so in that region of the state it could be good for Obama".