Goodlatte secures ninth term
By CAMERON STEELE
Republican incumbent Bob Goodlatte beat out the grassroots campaign of Democrat Sam Rasoul to win thebattle for Virginia’s 6th Congressional District today.Goodlatte, from the Roanoke area, has cruised to victory in all of his races since he first won election in 1992.Nationwide, the news Tuesday night was better for Democrats, as they widened the majority in the House thatthey had secured in 2006.The 27-year-old Rasoul campaigned for nearly two years straight,starting just after Goodlatte won 76 percent of the vote in a landslideover two independents in 2006. Rasoul based much of his campaignon a platform of congressional reform, promising to returngovernmental control to the middle class and vowing not to takespecial interest or party money in the meantime.But as Election Day dawned i t was clear it would be a losing battle forthe nation’s youngest congressional candidate, an entrepreneur andactivist from Botetourt County. Even Rasoul’s supportersacknowledged it would be tough .“It’s an uphill slog going against an entrenched incumbent,” MikeOxford, Lexington Democratic Committee chair, said recently. “Folksin this part of Virginia tend to be pretty risk-averse. Bob Goodlatte iswhat they know.”With 16 years of experience, Goodlatte is comfortable in the halls of the U.S. Capitol. And he had a lot ofsupport from the traditionally conservative citizens in his district.
Democratic 6th District candidate Sam Rasoulmade a campaign stop in Lexington earlier thismonth. (CAMERON STEELE/RockbridgeReport)
“I think Goodlatte’s been a wonderful servant for the community,” Mildred Goughner, a volunteer from theRockbridge Area Republican Committee, said last week. When asked if she was concerned with Rasoul’spresence in the race, Goughner laughed.“Oh, no, I don’t think so,” she said.Goodlatte had the clear fundraising edge over Rasoul and independent challenger Janice Lee Allen. Accordingto the Center for Responsive Politics, he raised more than $1.3 million – with equal parts coming fromindividuals and political action committees – and had $1.1 million in cash on hand. Rasoul rasied $285,593and had $87,000 on hand. Allen raised $10,005 – 95 percent of it self-financed – and had about $2,000 in cashon hand.Even as the heavy favorite, Goodlatte saw the need to raise money. To distinguish himself from the rest of theRepublican ticket, GOP 6th District ViceChairman Scott Sayre said, Goodlatte focused on his history of bipartisanship.“He’s got a lot of good policies that make common sense and appeal to both Democrats and Republicans,”Sayre said.