Virgil Goode, a third party presidential candidate, is the nominee for the lesser known Constitution Party. He has ballot access is most states for the November election.
Mr. Goode is a former congressman who represented Virginia's fifth district for six terms. Like many third party candidates, his presence in the news has been light. That is, unless he upsets a major candidate by being on the ballot in a swing state when not much is known about Goode's positions or the party he is running for.
Born in Virginia, Virgil Goode entered politics at the early age of 27 after completing a law degree at the University of Virginia. He was elected to the Virginia State Senate in 1973. He held office for several consecutive terms until he ran for the states' 5th Congressional District in 1996 and won. Up until this time, and during his first two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Goode served as a Democrat.
However, Mr. Goode was never fully attached to a party label. He preferred to stand by his own convictions rather than partisan lines, which explains his current presidential bid as the nominee for the Constitution Party. Coming from the ranks of southern Democrats, he stood for conservative values on topics like abortion, gun rights, and illegal immigration. He defended the interests of his constituents, including the tobacco industry. Divergences from the Democratic Party reached a high when he voted in favor of three of the four impeachment articles against President Bill Clinton.
In 2000, Virgil Goode was re-elected for a third term, but as an independent. He told the press, “I have always voted independently of any party position and I plan to continue doing that.” He then spent his last three terms in the House as a Republican. After losing by a very narrow margin in 2008, he refused to be the Republican candidate in the 2010 elections.
He joined the Constitution Party’s Executive National Committee in late 2010 before being nominated as their candidate for the 2012 presidential election. The alliance between Mr. Goode and the Constitution Party is a natural step since he championed many position supported by the party during his time on Capitol Hill.
Formerly known as the U.S. Taxpayer Party, the Constitution Party promotes a strict return to limited government as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution, which has been ignored by the two main parties. The party also supports the U.S. stepping "back from foreign entanglements." However, the Constitution Party distinguishes itself from the Libertarian Party on a number of issues, including a strict stance on abortion and immigration.
After five consecutive presidential elections with a record ballot access in forty-three states, the Constitution Party aims at breaking 200,000 votes nationally this year. Party leaders are counting on the disenchantment of many Republicans and tea party members with the Romney nomination.
During this campaign, Mr. Goode has distinguished himself on three main points:
- He promotes a strict enforcement of immigration law for illegal immigrants as well as a moratorium on the delivery of green cards (with some exceptions) until the unemployment rate return under 5% as a major step toward full employment in the US.
- He is presented as the only true conservative on social values by advocating a total prohibition of abortion without any exceptions.
- He refuses to participate in the financial race played by the two main parties' candidates and refuses to compromise with special interests by declining PAC money and limiting individual contribution to a maximum of $200.
If this election turns out to be the one where people chose not to vote for the lesser of two evils, but for someone they believe will really work for the people, Virgil Goode will probably be the most successful candidate from the Constitution Party.