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A family drama is roiling a key US House race

Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
It’s a family affair.
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Peter Strozk, who was fired from the FBI today, is best known for sending anti-Donald Trump text messages while working on federal investigations involving Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign. But Strozk, whose hearing before Congress in July was a circus of partisan tension, has now become a character in another drama: A family feud between Republican lawmaker Bob Goodlatte and his son, Bobby Goodlatte.

The elder Gooldatte, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, helped lead the probe into whether Strozk’s biases interfered with his work with the FBI. During the hearing, he  threatened to  hold Strozk in contempt of court for failing to answer a question that Strozk and Democrats felt he did not have the permission to answer.

Upon news of Strozk’s dismissal, the younger Goodlatte, an angel investor in Coinbase and other companies, said he was “deeply embarassed” by his father’s involvement.

The congressman’s son also recently tweeted that he was supporting the Democrat who’s running for his father’s congressional seat, in hopes of turning the district blue.

The elder Goodlatte has represented Virginia’s 6th congressional district since 1993. In November 2017, he announced that he would not seek re-election. Democratic candidate Jennifer Lewis has described herself as a “mental health worker, community advocate, and leader in the fight against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.” She’ll be running against Republican Ben Cline, a state legislator who is currently serving his eighth term in the Virginia House of Delegates. He presents himself as a “leading conservative fighter” who is “against the Democrat’s aggressive gun control agenda.”

While the younger Goodlatte has not revealed any specific reason for publicly taking actions seemingly in opposition to his father, he wrote on Twitter that it “certainly wasn’t an easy decision.”

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