Virginia Congressman Denver Riggleman lost his re-election bid over the weekend in a Republican nominating convention to challenger Bob Good, a former Liberty University official.
Riggleman, a first-term Congressman, is a former Air Force officer and defense contractor who owns a distillery in Virginia.
Good challenged Riggleman saying he was “out of step with the base of the party” on issues such as life, marriage, health care, climate, and drug legalization.
Riggleman caught some flak from conservatives after officiating a same-sex marriage.
However, Riggleman received the endorsement of Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr.– which is located in the district – despite Good’s past employment there. He also received the endorsement of President Trump who called Riggleman a “true conservative leader” who will support the MAGA Agenda.
Riggleman also outraised Good by a significant 8 to 1 margin, but money mattered much less in this race which was decided by grassroots Republicans and local party leaders via a convention.
Despite the endorsements and fundraising differential, Good received 58% of the vote in the socially-distanced convention where participants were able to drive up to cast their votes due to coronavirus.
Following the electoral upset, the Riggleman campaign highlighted some irregularities in the voting process:
#VA05 Update: the Riggleman campaign says it raised concerns that two dozen non-registered delegates cast ballots in Campbell County, Bob Good’s home county, per a campaign staffer
Still no results from the nominating convention, which ended at 7 p.m.
— Ally Mutnick (@allymutnick) June 14, 2020
Voting irregularities and ballot stuffing has been reported in multiple counties in the #VA05. Voter fraud has been a hallmark of this nomination process and I will not stand for it. @VA_GOP needs to reevaluate their priorities. We are evaluating all our options at this time.
— Denver Riggleman (@Denver4VA) June 14, 2020
Based on the comments from Riggleman it’s likely Riggleman will launch a legal challenge.
Virginia has a “sore loser” law which would prevent Riggleman from running as an independent or under a different party banner.