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GOP: Goode to have little impact
Party officials say he won't be a spoiler
Thursday, July 26, 2012
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
While some say Constitution Party presidential candidate Goode could take votes from the GOP ticket in November, Virgil Goode said he hopes to capture votes from President Barack Obama.
Goode, 65, of Rocky Mount, is working to get on the ballot in as many states as possible to face presumptive Republican candidate Mitt Romney and Obama, the incumbent Democrat.
Even if Goode does take votes from Romney, it is unlikely to have a significant impact on the outcome of the election, according to W.C. Fowlkes, chairman of the Henry County Republican Committee.
He predicted that Goode will get 2 or 3 percent of the vote statewide.
Goode’s “area of notoriety was primarily here in what was the old 5th District. He is not that widely known when you get out of the” area, Fowlkes said.
While he is not as well known outside Virginia, Goode said that a lot of people — in and out of Virginia — are upset with and do not see much difference between Romney and Obama.
Still, Fowlkes said he anticipates that most people will realize there are only two viable candidates — Romney and Obama.
Although Goode may take some votes away from the GOP ticket, Fowlkes said, “I just don’t think it will be a significant amount.”
State Sen. Bill Stanley, who also is chairman of the 5th District Republican Committee, said he does not think Goode will have an impact nationwide, “but in Virginia, he will have some impact. The 5th District thinks the world of Virgil, like I do. Be that as it may, a vote for Virgil is really a vote for Obama.”
“When you consider the important decision to be made and the direction this country will be taking, I think we must convince people that this is too important of an election to cast a vote that won’t count,” Stanley said.
Bottom line, “I think the world of Virgil. I wish he was running as a Republican and I would have been behind him from the beginning. But right now, this election is too important and every vote needs to count,” Stanley said. “I think even Virgil would tell you that he has not got a chance of winning either Virginia or the presidency.”
Goode served in the state Senate from 1973 to 1996 and six terms in Congress before losing his seat to Democrat Tom Perriello in 2008. Perriello lost the seat to Chatham Republican Robert Hurt two years later. Goode has held public office as a Democrat, Republican and independent.
“Virgil has been out of the political picture for almost four years. He’s not been a political fixture,” Fowlkes said. “Virgil has not been involved in the political process here locally.”
While “there are a lot of people that do know him for his many years in public service, and everybody knows that he was a conservative, everybody knows too, that when you’re out of politics for a time,” voters forget, Fowlkes said.
“You’ve got to be visible and seen, and not just on a fair weather sort of basis,” he said. “So I think some people will vote for him, but I don’t think anyone sees him as a serious candidate.”
Goode said he views himself “as the candidate that is right for America, this part of Virginia, and the country” at large because he is taking a stand on issues of illegal immigration and green cards, and is the only candidate with a real jobs plan.
“For example, neither Romney nor Obama really want to solve the jobs” problem, Goode said.
“I am for stopping the illegal immigration and calling for an almost moratorium on the issuance of green cards” to prevent immigrants from taking American jobs, he said. He added the two matters are related but different.
Currently, there are a “tremendous number” of green cards issued, Goode said of the card which authorizes immigrants to live and work in the U.S.
“The Democrats won’t touch that issue” because many immigrants vote for Democrats, he said.
The Republicans won’t touch the issue because some of that party’s financial backers want immigrants in this country because “they drive down wages,” Goode said. Republicans “really don’t want a middle class.”
“Really, I am the only candidate that recognizes how harmful illegal immigrants” and green card issuances are to the American people, Goode said.
Also, Goode said he is the only candidate calling for term limits in Congress.
“I was there (in Congress). I was a part of it and I saw it,” Goode said. “You’re constantly raising money” for the next campaign rather than focusing on the needs of country.
With term limits, Goode said candidates would know they only had a certain amount of time to serve.
Neither Jeff Williams, chairman, nor Kathryn Williams, secretary, of the Martinsville GOP Committee, could be reached for comment.
Goode has said he would like to get on the ballot in all 50 states, but the high mark for the Constitution Party was 43 states, so he is hoping for more than 40.
He said Wednesday he still is collecting signatures to get on Virginia’s ballot, and will not feel comfortable that he has enough until the voters are certified by the State Board of Elections.
In Virginia, getting on the ballot requires collecting more than 10,000 signatures of registered voters — at least 400 from each congressional district — on petitions, although Goode said it is best to get more in case some are invalid.
He said he only needs 275 signatures to get on the ballot in Tennessee, but “Alabama is a bigger climb,” with 5,000 signatures needed.