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Goodlatte handily wins GOP primary

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Anna Mae McLaughlin of Strasburg votes in the Republican primary Tuesday inside the Strasburg High School gymnasium. Rich Cooley/Daily

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A voter walks to his car outside Strasburg High School polling station on Tuesday as morning rains kept the turnout numbers low. Rich Cooley/Daily

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Richard Jenkins, an election official, walks outside the polling station at Strasburg High School on Tuesday in the rain. Tuesday's race include the GOP Senate nomination and six house races in the state. Rich Cooley/Daily

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

U.S. Congressman Robert W. "Bob" Goodlatte will run for re-election to the House of Representatives in Virginia's 6th District after defeating challenger Karen U. Kwiatkowski in the Republican Party primary Tuesday.

Unofficial returns posted online by the Virginia State Board of Elections showed Goodlatte received 21,727 votes, or 66.45 percent of the total cast, compared to Kwiatkowski, with 10,968 votes, or 33.54 percent. The state agency calculated that 7.6 percent of the active registered voters cast in the district cast ballots in the primary.

"We're very pleased with the support of the Republican primary voters and we're very pleased we were able to run a positive campaign, from start to finish, and now we look forward to moving into the fall campaign, running on the [Mitt] Romney-[George] Allen-Goodlatte ticket and talking about the issues that face the country related to this administration and their inability to grow the economy, create jobs and reign in the power and spending of federal government," Goodlatte said by telephone after the polls closed.

Goodlatte, 59, has served the 6th District since 1993.

Kwiatkowski, 51, challenged Goodlatte as a constitutional conservative. Kwiatkowski said she regrets the loss but also claims to have sent a message to the Goodlatte campaign.

"We didn't win the vote like we would have liked to have, but we owned Bob Goodlatte," Kwiatkowski said by phone Tuesday night. "We sent a message to him and he has also sent a message back because his radio ads that he was running this past week told everybody in the sixth district that he was gonna cut spending and that he was a Constitutional Conservative. Now where have we heard that before? So we've got him right where we want him."

Unofficial results showed Goodlatte received 813 votes in Warren County or 54.74 percent of the ballots cast, compared to Kwiatkowski, with 672 votes or 45.25 percent of the total. Goodlatte also claimed victory in Shenandoah County where he received 1,393 votes or 60.12 percent, compared to Kwiatkowski, with 924 votes or 39.87 percent.

In his home city of Roanoke, Goodlatte received 1,757 votes, or 70.73 percent of the ballots cast. Kwiatkowski received 727 votes or 29.26 percent of the total, the unofficial returns show.

Goodlatte took 2,457 votes in Rockingham County, or 52.34 percent of the ballots cast, while Kwiatkowski received 2,237 votes or 47.65 percent.

In Page County, Goodlatte claimed a slim majority over Kwiatkowski. Goodlatte received 391 votes, or 50.84 percent of the ballots cast, compared to Kwiatkowski, with 378 votes, or 49.15 percent.

Kwiatkowski won a slim majority in Harrisonburg, the unofficials results showed. With all precincts in Harrisonburg reporting, according to the Virginia State Board of Elections, Kwiatkowski received 616 votes or 50.57 percent, compared to Goodlatte with 602 votes and 49.42 percent.

Asked about the results in Harrisonburg and his narrow victories in other localities Goodlatte responded only to say he and his staff felt pleased with the outcome across the district.

"We'll have time later on to examine the details of individual areas but our focus will be on unifying the Republican Party and moving forward to do what people know we have to do in Virginia and that is deliver the electoral votes of this state to Mitt Romney because this state, which had gone Republican for 44 straight years, suddenly went for a Democratic presidential candidate and made a difference in his getting elected," Goodlatte said. "We've gotta win that back and we're going to be working closely with the Romney campaign and the Allen campaign to make sure we carry the electoral votes for the state and win back the senate seat."

Kwiatkowski said "we're not goin' anywhere," hinting she may try in two years to seek the GOP nod for sixth district.

The unofficial results for other localities in the district:

  • Amherst County -- Goodlatte, 989 votes (76.54 percent); Kwiatkowski, 303 votes (23.45 percent)
  • Augusta County -- Goodlatte, 2,672 votes (66.36 percent); Kwiatkowski, 1,354 votes (33.63 percent)
  • Bath County -- Goodlatte, 196 votes (86.34); Kwiatkowski, 31 votes (13.65 percent)
  • Bedford County -- Goodlatte, 1,382 votes (71.01 percent); Kwiatkowski, 564 votes (28.98 percent)
  • Botetourt County -- Goodlatte, 1,415 votes (76.32 percent); Kwiatkowski, 439 votes (23.67 percent)
  • Highland County -- Goodlatte, 143 votes (66.51 percent); Kwiatkowski, 72 votes (33.48 percent)
  • Roanoke County -- Goodlatte, 2,845 votes (76.95 percent); Kwiatkowski, 852 (23.04 percent)
  • Rockbridge County -- Goodlatte, 775 votes (69.07 percent); Kwiatkowski, 347 votes (30.92 percent)
  • Buena Vista -- Goodlatte, 139 (65.25 percent); Kwiatkowski, 74 votes (34.74 percent)
  • Lexington -- Goodlatte, 129 votes (59.17 percent); Kwiatkowski, 89 votes (40.82 percent)
  • Lynchburg -- Goodlatte, 2,280 votes (75.59 percent); Kwiatkowski, 736 votes (24.40 percent)
  • Staunton -- Goodlatte, 642 votes (68.88 percent); Kwiatkowski, 290 (31.11 percent)
  • Waynesboro -- Goodlatte, 682 votes (72.16 percent); Kwiatkowski, 263 votes (27.83 percent)


When you have a voter turn out of only 7.6%, it is misleading to headline the results by saying that the incumbent won "handily." Actually, the challenger did quite well in many jurisdictions.

But I wonder how many voters were, as I, disenfranchised and not able to vote in today's primary.

This occurred because the polling place for my district is in a god-forsaken out-of-the way location up in the hills and accessible only by car. I live in the Town of Front Royal and walk everywhere. But there is no way I could walk to the remote polling place. There are no sidewalks outside of town (why is the polling place not within town limits for town residents?) and it is downright hazardous. Why not allow folks to vote at the closest polling place?

I vote absentee if I expect to be out of town on election day and will do so at government center. This time, however, I tried to vote absentee due to lack of transportation and was told this was not a reason.

Just goes to show that the people in District 6 GOP like the status quo. I sure hope they don't complain when they get more of the same...

Hmmmm, I don't know, I like Karen a lot, but Bob G's been pretty reliable-- strong pro-life, anti-spending votes. The one disappointment was the vote to raise the debt ceiling, that would have been more effective than a dozen balanced budget amendments. I'm a lot more disappointed Jamie Radtke didn't do better. Allen has a good chance to lose again, and with a weak presidential candidate it's imperative the GOP gain in Congress if the people really go and re-elect the Usurper.

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