Virginia Republicans Knock Out Congressman Backed by Trump

Denver Riggleman, who led same-sex wedding, loses nomination to Bob Good
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2020 9:33 AM CDT
Challenger Tops Congressman Who Led Same-Sex Wedding
Bob Good talks with voters as they arrive at the Moose Lodge in Lynchburg, Va., in 2015.   (Autumn Parry/The News & Advance via AP, File)

Voting in a drive-through convention in a church parking lot, Virginia's Fifth District Republicans awarded their nomination to Bob Good, a challenger to Rep. Denver Riggleman. Good took 58% of the more than 2,500 votes cast, while Riggleman collected 42%, WRC reports. The incumbent, who's in his first term, was endorsed by President Trump. Riggleman immediately issued accusations of ballot box-stuffing, and his campaign announced it was weighing its options. "That's what losers say," Good answered. Riggleman also was unhappy with the decision to hold the convention instead of a primary, usually an advantage for an incumbent, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "This is the most perverse way to choose a candidate," Riggleman said Saturday.

District Democrats are holding a primary June 23, which will decide Good's opponent for the general election. GOP strength in Virginia has been fading; the party now holds four congressional seats in mostly rural districts. Riggleman, who has argued that the party needs to expand its base, faced criticism among Republicans after officiating at the wedding of two men in 2019. Some of Good's supporters said that drove them to oppose Riggleman, who they say has libertarian tendencies. Riggleman is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, per CNN. Good is a former county supervisor and employee of Liberty University, while Riggleman operates a distillery. (Georgia stuck with a primary, but it didn't go well.)

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