By Zebrina Edgerton-Maloy
Republican incumbent Robert “Bob” Goodlatte easily won the race for Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District. The AP called the race at 7:22 p.m. in favor of Goodlatte, who has served as the Sixth District Representative since 1993.
With 97 percent of the precincts reporting at 9:30 p.m., Goodlatte had received 76 percent of the vote in a three-way race. Libertarian William “Will” Hammer had 12.2 percent of the vote and Elaine Hildebrandt, from the Independent Green Party, had 11.8 percent. There was no Democratic candidate.
The absence of a Democratic opponent almost assured Goodlatte’s election to a 12th term. According to The Roanoke Times, Hammer and Hildebrandt acknowledged they were running as a way to change the dynamic of party politics.
Libertarian Hammer said he was fed up with party politics and the existing conditions in Washington.
Hildebrandt, the Independent Green candidate, is a longtime activist. This was her first time running for office.
Goodlatte was the overwhelming favorite to return to Washington despite recent criticism that he was stalling adoption of the Marketplace Fairness Act.
The bill would permit states to require online and catalog retailers to collect sales taxes during a transaction, similarly to what local retailers do. The Marketplace Fairness Act passed the Senate with 21 Republican votes.
But Goodlatte has not allowed a hearing on the bill in the House Judiciary Committee, which he chairs. Even some fellow conservatives are upset that Goodlatte won’t hold a hearing.
Goodlatte says he is waiting until after his re-election to address the Internet sales tax and the little support the bill is getting from Republicans.
In his campaign, Goodlatte has preferred to talk about his support for responses to the “serious threat” of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. He also argues that the U.S. should have maintained more of a presence in Iraq since the war ended.
Lack of money meant that both Hildebrandt and Hammer had trouble getting their names and messages out to the public. Neither reported raising any campaign funds.
On the other hand, Goodlatte raised $1.9 million and spent $1.2 million, according to Open Secrets.