‘I Just Gave the Maximum Allowed Donation.’ Silicon Valley Investor Tweets About Flipping His Own Father’s GOP House Seat

August 13, 2018, 9:37 PM UTC

Families divided by politics is a now-familiar story. But the Goodlattes are heightening the drama with a Silicon Valley spin. On Twitter on Sunday, tech investor and early Facebook Inc. designer Bobby Goodlatte threw his support to the Democrat running for his Republican father’s congressional seat.

“Let’s flip the 6th”, he wrote on Twitter, referring to the 6th congressional district of Virginia — a district his father, Representative Bob Goodlatte, has represented for 25 years and had planned to vacate this election.

The younger Goodlatte said in a tweet that he donated the maximum amount allowed to Democrat Jennifer Lewis’s congressional campaign and encouraged his more than 33,000 followers to do the same.

Goodlatte, who worked at Facebook a decade ago, went on to found OpenVote, a platform to pledge and share votes, in 2015. He’s backed more than two dozen companies as an investor, including cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Inc. and Blue Bottle Coffee Inc.

Goodlatte is part of a growing group in Silicon Valley to flex their newfound wealth and power to make political change. Investors Bilal Zuberi of Lux Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ Mamoon Hamid have both been outspoken critics of Washington policies. Angel investor Chris Sacca, Homebrew Management partner Hunter Walk and startup founder Charlie Cheever are supporting Goodlatte’s effort to flip the sixth district, according to their tweets.

Neither Goodlatte immediately responded to a request for comment.

On Twitter, Bobby Goodlatte criticized his father’s “political grandstanding,” and said he was “deeply embarrassed” about the role his father played in firing longtime FBI agent Peter Strzok for Strzok’s anti-Trump texts.

“That committee hearing was a low point for Congress,” he wrote.

Bob Goodlatte, 65, also serves as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He announced last year he wouldn’t seek re-election in order to spend more time with his family, particularly his granddaughters.

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