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Va. Rep. Goode Leaving Democrats

January 24, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Rep. Virgil Goode, a second-term conservative Democrat from Virginia, intends to become an independent, his office said today.

``He told the staff this morning he is running as an independent,″ said an aide, Linwood Duncan.

Duncan said the lawmaker was personally faxing an announcement about his decision from his campaign office in Virginia.

The second-term congressman had informed associates of his plans Sunday night.

Goode’s decision represents a triumph for Republicans, although it was not clear whether he would seek to align himself with the GOP in any official way.

With Goode’s defection, Republicans will hold a 222-211 majority in the House, with two independents, Rep. Bernard Sanders of Vermont and Goode. Sanders is closely aligned with the Democrats, who protect his committee assignments.

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