Thursday, April 19, 2007

Democrat emerges to contest Goodlatte

Sam Rasoul said he's running in response to a "changing voice" in politics.
By Mason Adams
(540) 981-3149

Sam Rasoul announced over the weekend that he's seeking the Democratic nomination to run against U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte in 2008. Rasoul, 25, lives in Blue Ridge and is general manager of a small medical distribution firm.

He said he's running in response to a "changing voice" in politics, as evidenced by Jim Webb's defeat of George Allen in last year's Senate race.

"I started to realize there's a changing voice in America as far as what people are demanding from politicians," Rasoul said. "My theme is this is not politics as usual. It's not about toeing a partisan line. It's about addressing issues."

Rasoul said he wants to focus his campaign on three issues in particular: health care; education -- particularly pre-kindergarten initiatives; and small-business development.

Rasoul moved to Roanoke at age 3. He attended schools in Roanoke and Roanoke County and graduated from Lord Botetourt High School.

He received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Roanoke College and a master's degree in international business administration from Hawaii Pacific University. He's married.

Rasoul is the first Democrat to announce his intentions to take on Goodlatte, a Roanoke County Republican who has represented the 6th District in the House since first elected in 1993. Last year, two independents challenged Goodlatte, but no one from the Democratic Party.

David Layman, chairman of 6th District Democratic Committee, said he's had three others express interest in running.

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