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Goode shuts door on independent run for Congress / May 10, 2010
Former Fifth District Rep. Virgil Goode reiterated that he will not run for Congress this year while speaking to a Tea Party gathering in Lynchburg on Thursday.

Goode, who revealed last week that he has joined the conservative Constitution Party, while still remaining a member of the Republican Party, closed the door on speculation that he may jump into the fall race as an independent candidate against Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello.

Goode told the Lynchburg News Advance that even if he wanted to run, he would not be able to gather the required number of petition signatures to get his name on the ballot. Under Virginia law, third-party and independent candidates must submit 1,000 valid signatures of registered voters to the State Board of Elections by June 8 to make the ballot.

“If I were to decide to run, by some chance out of the blue, I’d have to be getting up petitions shortly,” Goode said, according to the Lynchburg paper. “As of today, I have not gotten any forms and I have not gotten any petitions.”

The News Advance reported that an audience member at the Tea Party event Thursday pressed Goode to say if he would run or not. After first describing the kind of conservative he would like to elect to the Fifth District seat, Goode answered “no” in a barely audible voice after the question was repeated, the News Advance reported.

Six of the seven candidates for the Republican nomination spoke at the Tea Party event, with Ron Ferrin of Campbell County the only no-show. The Republican primary to choose a candidate to take on Perriello is June 8.

Candidates who did speak to the Lynchburg Tea Party were Robert Hurt of Chatham, Ken Boyd of Albemarle, Laurence Verga of Ivy, Feda Morton of Fluvanna, Jim McKelvey of Moneta, Michael McPadden of North Garden and an independent from Danville, Jeff Clark.

Goode caused a stir last week when he announced that he was joining the Constitution Party, which received less than 1 percent of the vote in the 2008 presidential election. Goode was the keynote speaker at the Constitution Party’s national committee banquet on Friday in Minneapolis and paid the $35 party membership fee, but he later added that he is also current on his membership dues with the Franklin County Republican Party.

But Goode said the Constitution Party has taken positions on several issues which he feels are superior to the platform of the national Republican Party. Among those, Goode listed the Constitution Party’s resolution supporting Arizona’s controversial new law on illegal immigration.

He also pointed to the Constitution Party’s opposition to free trade agreements and its call to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other international trade agreements. He said he prefers the position of the Constitution Party to the Republican Party’s support for free trade agreements.

Goode also said he supports the Constitution Party’s pledge to abolish the U.S. Department of Education and wants to repeal all federal legislation related to education, since the Constitution Party believes the federal government lacks the constitutional jurisdiction to be involved in the matter.

Goode said he hopes and expects the GOP to nominate a candidate who supports cracking down on illegal immigration, is pro-life and wants to cut government spending.

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