Third committee chairman to not seek reelection.
The GOP has lost another in the House: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) will retire at the end of his term next year.
Goodlatte is the third committee chairman to announce his retirement. So far, 19 GOP lawmakers have said they will not seek reelection. Roll Call said that around 22 representatives retire each cycle, but this one has hit hard since a lot of well-known members have decided to leave.
Goodlatte, 65, has served Virginia’s sixth district for 25 years. He explained in a statement why he has decided to retire:
Every two years, Maryellen and I sat down to discuss whether to run again or not. When we discussed the 2018 election, the conversation ended a little differently than in past years. After much contemplation and prayer, we decided it was the right time for me to step aside and let someone else serve the Sixth District. I will not seek re-election. With my time as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee ending in December 2018, this is a natural stepping-off point and an opportunity to begin a new chapter of my career and spend more time with my family, particularly my granddaughters.
While I’m not running for re-election, my work in the 115th Congress is far from done. There is much that I hope we can accomplish in the next year, including: bolstering enforcement of our immigration laws and reforming the legal immigration system, simplifying the tax code in order to stimulate job growth and benefit families in the Sixth District, enacting criminal justice reform, repealing Obamacare, advancing protections of the freedoms and liberties enshrined in our Constitution, and, of course, continuing first-class constituent service for the citizens of the Sixth District. I look forward to working with the House Leadership, the Senate, and President Trump in bringing real conservative change to our country.
Goodlatte’s district is considered GOP safe, especially since President Donald Trump won it by 25 points. The sixth district has not “voted for a Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt.” Failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the state by a slim margin.
No Republicans have announced a run for Goodlatte’s seat, but two Democrats and an Independent have already decided to do so. From The Roanoke Times:
Democrat Peter Volosin, of Roanoke, and independent Michael Frend, of Waynesboro, have announced plans to seek Goodlatte’s seat. Harrisonburg Democrat Sergio Coppola has also announced plans to vie for the seat.
National Democratic groups tried to recruit former WDBJ-TV (Channel 7) reporter and anchor Chris Hurst to run in the 6th District. Hurst, who just won a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates, moved out of the 6th District to run for the 12th District House of Delegates seat.
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