There’s a lot to digest here. Goodlatte was due to step down as the powerful chair of the House Judiciary Committee at the end of his current term. And especially if the Democrats win a House majority in 2018 (which appears more likely than ever), he would have been relatively powerless.
Jenna Portnoy, who covers Virginia’s congressional delegation for The Washington Post, writes:
Had he chosen to seek reelection, Goodlatte could have had a tough fight for the GOP nomination.
Although he has a solid conservative voting record, Goodlatte’s quarter century of public service and status in the House leadership has made him a target of Republicans activists in his district.
Last year, his ally lost the leadership of the GOP committee in the congressional district to businessman Scott Sayre.
“[Goodlatte] has served us for a couple of decades now and there are many people who are happy with what he has done,” he said Thursday. “You can’t make everybody happy.”
Republicans expected to consider vying for the nomination for the seat, include state Del. Ben Cline, Goodlatte’s former chief of staff, and Cynthia Dunbar, a national committeewoman. In an interview Thursday, Sayre ruled out running himself.