After Representative Bob Goodlatte faced his first ever intraparty challenge back in 2012, conservatives in the 6th district began to wonder if and when it would happen again? Would Karen Kwiatkowski return for a rematch two years later?
We now have an answer to that question. Paul Bevington, a teacher from Buena Vista, has announced his decision to challenge Bob Goodlatte for the Republican nod. Billing himself as a liberty-minded Republican, Bevington lists his principles and priorities on his website. Drawing distinction from Goodlatte and himself, he stresses his support for civil liberties such as his opposition to the Patriot Act, indefinite detention found in the NDAA, and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). In addition, like Republicans advocated several decades ago, he opposes federal involvement in education, declaring it to be “in violation of the 10th Amendment”, preferring power resting in the hands of the state and local governments. His full platform can be found at this link.
There is no doubt that Bob Goodlatte has a number of considerable advantages in terms of both name ID and money, as he did in 2012. However, there is considerable resentment against Representative Goodlatte, even among the Republican faithful. For example, there is his refusal to honor the request of the entire Sixth District Republican Committee to not reelect John Boehner as Speaker of the House of Representatives. And there is the persistent rumor that Goodlatte is planning to switch his position on immigration in the coming months in order to give amnesty to the children of illegal immigrants.
How will the Bevington and Goodlatte struggle turn out in the June 10th primary? It should be interesting to see how this contest unfolds.