Denver Riggleman has won the race for Virginia’s fifth congressional district. Riggleman, a newcomer to politics, ran a positive campaign based on libertarian ideas and the substantive policy concerns of the largely agricultural district. The campaign’s approach contrasted sharply with that of the state GOP, and Riggleman spent less than half as much money as did his Democratic opponent, Leslie Cockburn.
His victory, which came on the heels of Corey Stewart’s failed run for the Senate, should be a message for the Virginia GOP. Stewart’s strategy, built on appealing to white nationalists, is morally bankrupt and has proven a complete political failure. On pragmatic grounds, if nothing else, it should be abandoned completely.
In contrast, Denver Riggleman proves that sticking to a positive, free-market message and engaging with the constituents’ needs is the path forward for the state party’s success.
Riggleman told me, “If I lose, trusting the intelligence of the voter, I can still sleep at night.”
It seems like that trust has paid off.