Virgil Goode, a 1969 Richmond College graduate, who is running for president as the Constitution Party nominee, may take support away from Mitt Romney here in Virginia.
“There’s not much difference between Romney and Obama,” Goode, 66, said in a Southern drawl. “It’s a choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.”
In addition to Virginia, Goode is on the ballot in 25 states, including swing states Ohio and Florida. He is also a write-in candidate in 14 states.
Goode, from Rocky Mount, Va., served in the Virginia Senate and also in the United States House of Representatives from 1997 to 2009.
Goode began his political career as a Democrat. He was an Independent and later a Republican before joining the Constitution Party in 2010.
A key point in Goode’s campaign platform is less immigration, legal or illegal, he said.
“I am the only candidate running that has called for a moratorium on green card workers being led into this country,” Goode said. “It makes no sense to allow so many foreign workers when you have unemployment around eight percent.”
Goode does not think Obama or Romney will do anything to stop the flow of immigrants into the country, he said.
He also said that he recognized the need to balance the budget more than Romney or Obama. If elected, Goode said that he would submit a balanced budget.
Goode is opposed to political action committees and packed donations, he said. If he were elected he would work with legislation to rid PACs, he said.
Both Obama and Romney are swimming in money from PACs and Goode is opposed to that, he said.
On Goode’s campaign website, he is not accepting donations more than $200. He also personally answers phone calls from reporters.
At Richmond, Goode majored in political science and was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, he said. Goode also was elected as the speaker of the house for Richmond College, he said.
After Richmond, Goode attended law school at the University of Virginia, and graduated in 1973.
If Richmond students are interested in Goode’s three main issues, he hopes they will consider voting for him, he said.
Daniel Palazzolo, Richmond political science professor, has had several Richmond students intern in Goode’s congressional office, he said. Goode has also come to speak to several of his classes, Palazzolo said.
“He believes he is giving a voice to important issues,” Palazzolo said. “Fiscal Conservatism is something he is pretty passionate about.
When asked how Goode’s campaign would affect the election, Palazzolo said it was hard to measure.
“The big question is whether votes will be pulled away from Mitt Romney or from people who would not have voted anyway,” Palazzolo said.
Palazzolo predicts that Romney will win by an extraordinarily small margin of votes, but that does not include third party votes, he said.
“It’s a razor thin margin and polls are showing it’s pretty darn close, at least here in Virginia,” he said.
Contact staff writer Jessica Racioppi at firstname.lastname@example.org