Virginia Tea Party leaders want Virgil Goode to run again
Tea Party activists in Virginia's 5th Congressional District have asked former congressman Virgil Goode to consider jumping into the race to block Republican Robert Hurt's nomination.
Goode, who lost the seat in 2008 by fewer than 1,000 votes to Democrat Tom Perriello, was unavailable for comment this evening. But Tea Party activists said they met for several hours today to figure out how to block Hurt, a state senator backed by national Republicans but not viewed as sufficiently conservative by others -- and drafting Goode was a major piece of the discussion.
Mark Lloyd, who leads the Lynchburg Tea Party organization, said he has spoken to Goode about getting into the Republican primary, a scenario that Lloyd described as "one option" to ensure the nomination of a sufficiently conservative candidate. The first option, however, will be to try to persuade the six other Republicans vying against Hurt for the nomination to choose the strongest amongst them and rally behind him or her. If they can't do that by Feb. 9, the pressure on Goode will intensify, Lloyd and others said.
"Virgil Goode is not the goal," Lloyd said. "The goal is a good, solid conservative candidate that everybody can get behind and take out Perriello. That is the goal."
Nonetheless, the possibility of Goode candidacy traveled quickly through Virginia political circles today and intensified the perception that the 5th District is fast becoming another national battleground over the direction of the Republican Party. Conservatives say Hurt's vote for a billion-dollar tax increase in 2004 effectively disqualifies him as a credible conservative candidate; they also say they resent state and national Republican intervention on behalf of Hurt. Earlier this week, House Minority Whip Eric I. Cantor (R-Va.) disclosed that his leadership PAC and congressional committee had donated $7,000 to Hurt's campaign.
The internal feud threatens to weaken Republican chances in a district that has been characterized as among the most vulnerable for Democrats in the nation.
January 16, 2010; 8:13 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Election 2010 , Robert Hurt , Tom Perriello
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