Bobby Goodlatte backing Democrat Jennifer Lewis for father’s seat

bob goodlatteBobby Goodlatte, son of retiring Sixth District Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte, is backing Democrat Jennifer Lewis in the midterm election, tweeting that 2018 is the “year to flip districts.”

This isn’t entirely man bites dog, though. The younger Goodlatte, a Silicon Valley angel investor and founder and CEO of Open Vote, a non-partisan voting project, has long acknowledged that he and his father don’t see eye to eye on political ideology, something he cemented on Monday with tweets expressing his embarrassment that embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok’s career “was ruined by my father’s political grandstanding,” and calling Strzok, under fire for text messages critical of then-candidate Donald Trump, a “patriot.”

That said, Bobby Goodlatte made it public that he has donated the maximum allowed under federal law, $2,700, to the Lewis campaign, and had gotten five other people to make similar max donations to Lewis, who is challenging former Goodlatte staffer Ben Cline in the November election.

That sum – $16,200 – would represent a big boost to Lewis, whose campaign had raised $72,769 as of its most recent report on file with the Federal Election Commission, for activity through June 30.

The Cline campaign reported $393,129 in fundraising, though Cline had already spent $307,688 in what turned into a highly contentious battle for the GOP nomination.

Lewis had spent $34,989 for campaign activity through June 30. Lewis won a four-candidate primary for the Democratic Party nomination in June.

The seat is about as safe Republican as you’re going to see. Bob Goodlatte has held the seat since 1993, succeeding a conservative Democrat, Jim Olin.

Prior to Olin, the Sixth sent Republicans Richard Poff and Caldwell Butler to represent the district in Congress from 1953-1983, which is notable in that this was the heyday of one-party Byrd Democrat political rule in Virginia.

The district hasn’t voted for a Democrat for president since 1964, and in the most recent presidential cycle, in 2016, Trump received 59 percent of the vote in the Sixth, with Democrat Hillary Clinton getting 35 percent.

Story by Chris Graham

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