Rockingham County Clerk of Court talks decision to run for Congress

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Chaz Haywood has served as the Rockingham County Clerk of the Circuit Court for about a decade; now, he would like to serve the community in a different role: as a member of Congress.

Haywood is hoping to fill the empty 6th District seat when Congressman Bob Goodlatte retires. Earlier this month, Congressman Goodlatte announced he would be retiring after serving the Shenandoah Valley in the House for more than two decades.

Haywood says Goodlatte has been great about being accessible through his staff and says he wants to continue that service. He says, right now, there is a problem in Congress that he wants to fix.

"We deserve a lot better," said Haywood, "and we have government that's of the people, by the people and for the people, and I don't think that's how our government is acting right now. We have a president who I'm willing to stand with to get things done. I'm not interested in the egos and all of the fighting. We just need to get good legislation to President Trump."

Haywood says the decision to run took some thinking, including spending time with his daughter.

"Here I am, already having wonderful opportunities to serve our community and it just dawned on me that, the American dream, I've got that and I want to make sure my kids and all kids have the same opportunity that I had," said Haywood.

The field of contenders for the Republican nomination is filling up. Delegate Ben Cline, who serves the 24th district, announced he will seek the nomination, along with Cynthia Dunbar, who represented Virginia on the Republican National Committee this year. On the other side of the aisle, Sergio Coppola of Harrisonburg and Peter Velosin of Roanoke will be seeking the Democratic nomination while Michael Frend of Waynesboro will be running as an independent.