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GOP Hopes Goddard Takes Flight vs. Marshall

Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Rick Goddard was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday meeting with Republican leaders as he weighs a challenge to Rep. Jim Marshall (D) next year.

Goddard met privately with House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) as well as National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) and addressed the GOP Conference at its Wednesday morning meeting.

Goddard retired in March 2000 after serving as commander of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Georgia’s Robins Air Force Base. The center, which is in Marshall’s 8th district, is the largest industrial complex in the state.

“He is considering running,” said NRCC spokesman Ken Spain. “He would make an incredibly strong candidate.”

National Republicans tried to recruit Goddard to run against Marshall in 2004, but he ultimately resisted their overtures and decided against a bid. That same year Marshall cruised to a comfortable victory in a rematch with Republican Calder Clay.

But since then Marshall’s south-central district has been redrawn and his near-defeat in the previous cycle’s national Democratic wave revealed the strong Republican slant of the district.

Marshall, a Vietnam veteran, won re-election in 2006 by less than 2,000 votes against former Rep. Mac Collins (R).

— Lauren W. Whittington

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