Roanoke pilot challenging Goodlatte in primary

Harry Griego

Harry Griego, a pilot from Roanoke, has filed papers launching his candidacy against U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke, in the 6th District.

Griego will be only the second challenger Goodlatte has faced in a Republican primary since the incumbent was first elected to Congress in 1992.

The 6th Congressional District stretches from Roanoke north to Shenandoah and Warren counties. The primary is June 14.

Griego narrowly lost a Republican primary in 2015 to Del. Chris Head in the 17th District of the House of Delegates. Griego, a 23-year military veteran who retired from the Air Force, is a pilot for Gama Aviation. He ran in 2015 with the endorsement of the tea party.

Mike Troxel, a campaign spokesman, said Griego is running because Goodlatte “hasn’t been voting the way he should be” as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

“He hasn’t been using his power as judiciary chairman,” Troxel said of Goodlatte. “Unfortunately, for four years, he has done nothing with that power.”

Troxel cited votes by Goodlatte supporting budgets containing items favoring the priorities of President Barack Obama as examples of the incumbent’s failure to reflect the preferences of district voters.

“We believe the Sixth District is one of the most conservative districts in all of Virginia and it deserves a congressman who will reflect that,” Troxel said.

A phone message and email seeking comment from Goodatte or someone on his staff were not returned.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com