With little fanfare, former U.S. Representative Virgil Goode has joined the national executive committee of the Constitution Party, essentially severing his ties with the Republican Party.
This is not the first time Goode has switched political parties. Having served in the Virginia State Senate as a Democrat for almost 25 years, he was elected under that party's banner to the U.S. Congress in 1996, becoming an independent in 2000 (after having been one of the few Democrats to vote for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998), and finally switching to the GOP in 2002.
Goode ran as a Republican until he was defeated by one-term Democratic Congressman Tom Perriello in 2008, after a recount showed a razor-thin (727) vote majority. (Perriello was subsequently defeated by state Senator Robert Hurt of Chatham this past November 2.)
According to Richard Winger at Ballot Access News,
On November 18, former Virginia congressman Virgil Goode accepted an appointment to the Constitution Party’s national Executive Committee....Winger draws an analogy to Goode's joining of the CP's national committee to Bob Barr joining the national committee of the Libertarian Party. Barr, a former Member of Congress from Georgia, said at the time that he had no intentions of running again for public office, but in 2008 he sought the LP's presidential nomination and received it.
Goode has been somewhat involved with the Constitution Party ever since he left congress. He has spoken at several Constitution Party national meetings during the past two years.
Whether Goode has ambitions to be a presidential candidate -- one could not say that a nominee of the Constitution Party has ambitions to be President -- is not known. Commenters on Ballot Access News suggest a CP presidential ticket that would include Goode and former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, who this month placed second in the race for Governor of that state, ahead of the Republican party's nominee.
Tancredo and Goode share a visceral xenophobia that would make them compatible as national ticketmates, regardless of which one was the presidential nominee and which was the vice-presidential nominee.
It should be noted that Virgil Goode's wife, Lucy Goode, is a vice chairman of the Fifth Congressional District Republican Committee.
The Constitution Party's press release welcoming Goode to its leadership ranks can be read here.