6th District Democratic challenger Andy Schmookler scheduled news conferences in Harrisonburg, Lynchburg and Roanoke on Thursday to challenge incumbent Congressman Bob Goodlatte to debate.
It only took two of those three before Goodlatte agreed.
By the time Schmookler started his news conference in front of half a dozen supporters in the city council chambers at Roanoke’s Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building, his campaign staff had already heard back from Goodlatte.
“On my way here from the press conference in Lynchburg, I got word that Congressman Goodlatte has relented and agreed to debate me,” Schmookler said. “My response is I’m very pleased that he has.”
Schmookler went ahead and read a portion of his pre-planned remarks, anyway, including this challenge to Goodlatte and his record:
“I have been declaring that you, Mr. Goodlatte, are betraying the trust of the people who sent you to Washington, the good people of Virginia’s 6th District. I believe strongly, sir, that you have put your own ambition and your partisan interests ahead of serving the interest and values of the people of Virginia. Your policies — however well you sell them to your supporters — are hurting those same people. Further, I declare that the party you so consistently rubber-stamp has been lying to the American people like no major political party in the history of our country.”
In response, Goodlatte campaign manager Chris Leavitt sent along this statement: “Congressman Goodlatte has always debated his Democratic opponents. He is confident that the voters of the Sixth District will embrace his message to repeal Obamacare, cut spending and amend the United States Constitution to require a Balanced Budget. We will work to determine a schedule after Congress adjourns.”
Schmookler said he’d like to participate in at least three debates in different parts of the district including Harrisonburg, Lynchburg and Roanoke.
– Mason Adams