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Bob Goodlatte not seeking re-election in 2018

bob goodlatteBob Goodlatte announced today that he will not run for re-election to his Sixth District congressional seat in 2018.

Goodlatte, a Republican, was first elected to the seat in 1992, and in his 25 years in Congress has served as the chair of the House Agriculture Committee and is currently the chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

He has not faced any significant challenges politically since his first race in the early 1990s. In his most recent re-election run, in 2016, he easily defeated Democrat Kai Degner, then the mayor of Harrisonburg, receiving 66.6 percent of the vote, in a district that Donald Trump won by 24.6 percent.

The news comes on the heels of the stunning results in Tuesday’s state elections, which saw Democrat Ralph Northam lead a statewide Democratic sweep that may also include at least a split in representation in the House of Delegates, where Republicans had a near-supermajority going into Election Day.


Goodlatte statement on not seeking re-election

When I first decided to run for Congress there were several things I wanted to achieve for the Commonwealth of Virginia and our nation. I had a strong passion for public service, a love of the law and the judicial system, and a deep appreciation for the people who call western and central Virginia home. These passions led me to serve on the Judiciary and Agriculture Committees throughout my time in the House, and have shaped my work on policies impacting the American people. I’ve had the privilege to serve as Chairman of both of these committees, and I’ve been proud to work on policies that have become law and advance fiscal conservatism, personal liberty, economic growth, and limited government.


For the past 25 years, it has been my honor to represent the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia. I cannot begin to express how blessed I am to have had the opportunity to serve and take part in the great experiment of self-government envisioned by our Founders. It has been a labor of love to work countless hours and travel endless miles on the roads of our District for a quarter of a century.

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.

I extend my deepest thanks to the people of Virginia’s Sixth District who have placed their trust in me. It is truly you who are the highlight of my time in elected office. I’ve had the good fortune of having an amazing staff team during my time in Congress – both in my Sixth District offices as well as in the Judiciary and Agriculture Committees. They’ve done excellent work, and I greatly value their commitment to serving the Sixth District and the American people. I’d also like to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress with whom I’ve had the opportunity to work over the years. I genuinely appreciate your friendship and support. And finally, none of this would have been possible without the love and support of my wife, Maryellen, and our children, Bobby, Jen, and Jen’s husband, Matt. They have my enduring love and gratitude.

I look forward to what the next chapter brings.

  • Statement from Sen. Tim Kaine:

    “While Bob and I didn’t see eye to eye on everything, we worked together for our constituents on local issues like helping Plains Area Day Care in Rockingham County make building repairs and designating the ‘National George C. Marshall Museum and Library’ in Lexington. I’d like to thank Rep. Goodlatte for 25 years of public service in Virginia and I wish him and his family the very best in his retirement from Congress.”

  • U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the below statement following Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) announcement that he will retire at the end of 2018:

    “Bob Goodlatte has served the people of Virginia in Congress for more than two decades. I have appreciated the opportunity to work with Congressman Goodlatte on a variety of issues important to our constituents in the Roanoke Valley. I thank him for a lifetime of public service, and extend him and Maryellen my very best wishes for the future.”

  • Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) today issued the following statement upon the announcement by Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) that he does not plan to seek reelection:

    “The House of Representatives will lose an outstanding leader with Bob’s retirement. As the chairman of the Agriculture and the Judiciary Committees, he has been an influential lawmaker and a strong advocate for Virginia. I’ve worked with him since he was the Sixth District Republican Chairman and I was the Chairman of the Salem Republican Committee in the 1980s. Bob has been my friend throughout all that time and a great partner in the Virginia congressional delegation. I wish him all the best in his next endeavors.”

  • Del. R. Steven Landes, R-Weyers Cave, issued the following statement on the announcement today that Congressman Bob Goodlatte would not be seeking another term.

    “After I received a call from Bob this morning, I recognized how much his leadership will be missed. Bob Goodlatte is a true public servant and has served the citizens of the 6th District with distinction. He embodies the conservative principles and values the Shenandoah Valley and Western Virginia expect and deserve. Having worked for Bob and representing shared constituencies, I can attest firsthand to his contributions to the 6th District and the people of the Commonwealth,” said Landes.

    “His leadership in Congress and Virginia will be sorely missed. I wish my friend and mentor Bob Goodlatte and his wife Maryellen all the best as they embark on this new path in their lives.”

  • In light of the recent announcement from Rep. Goodlatte’s office, Del. Rasoul has issued the following statement:

    “I am offering my sincere thanks to Rep. Goodlatte for his years of public service.

    “Tuesday’s election results have clearly shown that the people of the Commonwealth are looking for a direction that does not rely on the politics of fear and division.

    “While many people have inquired, at this time, I am not considering a run in the 6th Congressional District. I am excited about the dramatic changes in the Virginia Assembly, and all of the legislative advances we can make in Virginia.”