I am part of the conservatives only crowd.
I will be voting for Virgil Goode.
Goode grew up as a Democrat. He entered politics soon after graduating from law school. At the age of 27 he won a special election to the state Senate from a Southside district as an independent after the death of the Democratic incumbent. One of his major campaign focuses at the time was advocacy for the Equal Rights Amendment. Soon after being elected, he joined the Democrats.
Goode wore his party ties very loosely. He became famous for his support of the tobacco industry, where he spoke about his fear that “his elderly mother would be denied ‘the one last pleasure’ of smoking a cigarette on her hospital deathbed.” He was an ardent defender of gun rights while being an enthusiastic supporter of L. Douglas Wilder, who would become the first elected black governor in the history of the United States. At the Democratic Party’s political convention, it was Goode who nominated Wilder for lieutenant governor in 1985. However, while governor, Wilder cracked down on the sale of guns in the state.
After the 1995 elections resulted in a 2020 split between Democrats and Republicans in the state Senate, Goode seriously considered voting with the Republicans on organizing the chamber. Had he done so, the State Senate would have been under Republican control for the first time since Reconstruction (the Republicans ultimately won control outright in 1999). Goode’s actions at the time “forced his party to share power with Republican lawmakers in the state legislature,” which further upset the Democratic Party.