With a little help from his friends, former congressman Virgil Goode has taken a key step toward getting his name on November’s presidential ballot in Virginia, submitting more than 14,000 signatures to the State Board of Elections.
Goode, who represented Virginia in the U.S. House for 12 years and served in the state Senate for 24 years before that, is running on the Constitution Party line. He is on the ballot in at least 17 states so far, and some Republicans worry he could take votes away from former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) if he makes the Virginia ballot
Goode was a Democrat for much of his career, then became an Independent and finally a Republican for his last six years on Capitol Hill. Now Goode is getting assistance from yet another party, the Independent Greens, whose members have collected thousands of signatures for him. Goode estimated Friday that between one-quarter and one-third of the 14,375 signatures he’d submitted came from the Independent Greens.
The Independent Greens don’t look like a natural partner for Goode, whose conservative-leaning campaign has emphasized curbing legal and illegal immigration as well as fiscal discipline. But they do agree on one key issue.
“Virgil supports rail, and that’s our big issue and he’s with us on that,” said Carey Campbell, a member of the Independent Greens executive committee. “We’ve had for many years a good relationship with the Constitution Party folks.”
To make the Virginia ballot, Goode needs to submit 10,000 valid signatures — with a minimum of 400 from each congressional district. Though he has already surpassed that number, Goode knows at least some of the signatures will be ruled invalid, so he hopes to turn in at least 20,000 before the August 24 deadline.