Valley candidates react to announcement from Goodlatte

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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va (WHSV) -- The announcement by Bob Goodlatte Thursday had some shocked.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte

Several candidates in the Valley have already expressed interest in his seat, including Michael Frend of Waynesboro, who wants to run as an independent.

Democrat Sergio Coppola, of Harrisonburg, is also planning to run.

Both believe Goodlatte's announcement will welcome more opponents.

"Any candidate is going to come up to bat. I'm going to run the same campaign," Coppola said. "It doesn't matter what ticket, what agenda there is."

"Obviously opens up a lot of opportunity and levels out the playing field. I think it gives everyone who's running, the same foot and the same chance, to get their message out there," Frend said.

Those with the Augusta County Republican Party Committee believe another republican can fill the seat.

"I'm sure there will be people within our party that will contact bob and find out the pros and the cons about it," said Ken Elkins, chairman of the committee.

Not long after the announcement Thursday, WHSV heard from at least two Republicans who plan to run for the 6th district.

Cynthia Dunbar, who is on the Republican National Committee, and Delegate Ben Cline, who just won re-election to represent the 24th House of Delegates District, which covers parts of Augusta County, both announced plans to run on Thursday.

Now, time will tell who will be voted in.

"It gives us new visions, new outlooks and new possibilities," said Frend.

WHSV spoke with Jennifer Brown, communications chair for the Rockingham County Republican Committee who said the process for choosing nominees involves members of local district committees applying to be a delegate.

Once that is determined they can go the convention in the spring where they will be chosen as a nominee.