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Meet Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party
- Goode was served as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1997 to 2009. He represented the 5th congressional district of Virginia. Goode was born in Richmond, Virginia, the son of Alice Clara (née Besecker) and Virgil Hamlin Goode. He has spent most of his life in Rocky Mount. Goode graduated with a B.A. from the University of Richmond (Phi Beta Kappa) and with a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He also is a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity and served in the Army National Guard from 1969 to 1975.
- Goode grew up as a Democrat. He entered politics soon after graduating from law school. At the age of 27, he won a special election to the state Senate from a Southside district as an independent after the death of the Democratic incumbent. One of his major campaign focuses at the time was advocacy for the Equal Rights Amendment. Soon after being elected, he joined the Democrats.
- Goode wore his party ties very loosely. He became famous for his support of the tobacco industry, expressing his fear that "his elderly mother would be denied 'the one last pleasure' of smoking a cigarette on her hospital deathbed." He was an ardent defender of gun rights while being an enthusiastic supporter of L. Douglas Wilder, who later became the first elected black governor in the history of the United States. At the Democratic Party's state political convention in 1985, Goode nominated Wilder for lieutenant governor. However, while governor, Wilder cracked down on the sale of guns in the state.
- After the 1995 elections resulted in a 20–20 split between Democrats and Republicans in the State Senate, Goode seriously considered voting with the Republicans on organizing the chamber. Had he done so, the State Senate would have been under Republican control for the first time since Reconstruction (the Republicans ultimately won control outright in 1999). Goode's actions at the time "forced his party to share power with Republican lawmakers in the state legislature," which further upset the Democratic Party.
Goode is on the ballot in CA, FL, ID, IO, LA, MI, MN, MS, MI, NJ, NM, NY, NV, ND, OH, SC, SD, TN, UT, VA, WA, WI, WY. He is a write-in candidate in CA, CT, DC, GA, IL, IN, ME, MD, MA, MO, NC, TX, VT, WV
- Constitution Party This party was founded as the “U.S. Taxpayers’ Party” and considers itself conservative. The party's platform is predicated on the principles of the nation's founding documents. The party puts a large focus on immigration, calling for stricter penalties towards illegal immigrants and a moratorium on legal immigration until all federal subsidies to immigrants are discontinued.The party absorbed the American Independent Party, originally founded for George Wallace's 1968 presidential campaign. The American Independent Party of California has been an affiliate of the Constitution Party since its founding; however, current party leadership is disputed and the issue is in court to resolve this conflict. The Constitution Party has some substantial support from the Christian Right and in 2010 achieved major party status in Colorado.
Learn more about Virgil Goode and Constitution Party on Wikipedia.