Harrisonburg councilman to vie for Congress seat

Tom Howarth

A Harrisonburg city councilman has stepped up to run as the Democratic Party candidate against U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte.

Councilman Kai Degner would replace Tom Howarth as the party’s candidate if picked at the Sixth Congressional District Democratic Committee meeting tonight.

Howarth, chairman of the Warren County Democratic Committee, withdrew from the nominating process last week. District Committee Chairman Joe Fitzgerald confirmed Monday that Howarth had withdrawn and that Degner would seek the party nomination instead. Howarth’s withdrawal comes less than a month after he announced his intentions to run for Congress.

Meanwhile, Roanoke-based pilot Harry Griego is challenging Goodlatte for the Republican Party nomination to run for the district. Goodlatte was first elected to the seat in 1992 and has defeated Democratic Party challengers in four races.

Degner was born in Wuerzburg, Germany, and has lived in Harrisonburg since 1999. Degner holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration, both from James Madison University. Degner works as a Realtor for Rocktown Realty in Harrisonburg.

Degner was first elected to council in 2008. He served as mayor from 2009 to 2011 and was re-elected in 2012. His term expires in 2017 and Degner announced in April that he would not seek another term.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com