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State Rep. Robert Goforth resigns amid domestic violence charges

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 4:28 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky state representative Robert Goforth has resigned.

Goforth cited “family and personal circumstances that demand my full attention and focus” in his resignation letter.

(Read Goforth’s resignation letter below)

He was facing domestic violence charges stemming from an incident involving his wife back in April 2020. According to police reports, his wife said Goforth tried to tie her up several times, hit her on the forehead and tried to strangle her with an ethernet cord. All this while their three children were inside the home.

In 2019, the General Assembly voted to upgrade strangulation to a felony offense, defining as a crime of domestic or dating violence. Goforth, a Republican representative from Laurel County, helped pass the bill.

State Democrats have called for Goforth’s resignation since his arrest. Which since, he went on to win re-election last year.

A citizen’s petition calling for Goforth’s resignation was also filed with the state House in January. The petitioners said Goforth’s ouster would signal that domestic abuse will not be tolerated.

The Office of the Speaker of Kentucky House of Representatives released this statement Tuesday about Gorforth’s resignation:

We have received a copy of Representative Goforth’s formal resignation. According to his letter, he is resigning to address family and personal circumstances. We wish him and his family the best as they focus on each other. Statute provides that the Governor shall set the date for a special election for legislative vacancies which take place while the Kentucky General Assembly is not in session.

Goforth’s wife has said it was her “strong desire” not to see him charged and says she made that known to to the Commonwealth’s Attorney and grand jury in Laurel County. She went on to say they both sought spiritual and family counseling for their personal issues as a married couple.

The former gubernatorial candidate’s case is still going through the court process. A pre-trial hearing is set for December.

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