Former U.S. Representative Virgil Goode of Virginia received the presidential nomination of the Constitution Party (CP) Saturday at the party's National Convention in Nashville. He was selected on the first ballot over former Savannah State football coach Robby Wells and the 2008 CP Vice presidential nominee Darrell Castle, who announced his candidacy Friday. Goode picked outgoing CP National Chairman Jim Clymer as his running mate.
Goode served in the Virginia State Senate for twenty-three years before being elected to represent Virginia's Fifth U.S. congressional district as a Democrat in 1996. He was re-elected two years later, and left the Democratic Party before his second re-election campaign in 2000, when he ran as an Independent. He joined the Republican Party ahead of the 2002 election, and was re-elected three additional times until his defeat in 2008. Since then, Goode has joined the Constitution Party, and has served on its executive committee. In February, he announced his intentions to seek the party's presidential nomination, and spoke with Wikinews later that month.
At the convention, Goode won a total of 203 out of the 403 votes cast while Castle received 120 and Wells secured 58. Candidates Susan Ducey and Laurie Roth received 15 and 6 votes, respectively. Had Goode received two less votes, the nomination would have gone to a second ballot.
The Constitution Party was founded in 1991 as the U.S. Taxpayers Party, and changed to its current name eight years later. The party advocates states' rights, gun rights, limited government, protectionism, and non-interventionism. It strongly opposes abortion and illegal immigration. In terms of voter registration, it is the third largest U.S. political party with 367,000 members. Pastor Chuck Baldwin won the party's 2008 presidential nomination and appeared on 37 state ballots, receiving 199,314 votes or 0.15 percent.
Wiki News, The Cheers News