10 Takeaways from Denver Riggleman’s 5th District Congressional Nomination

In Lovingston there were high fives and celebrations Saturday after Virginia’s Fifth District 37-member committee selected distillery owner Denver Riggleman as their GOP congressional nominee. Here are 10 takeaways:

      1. The vote was close … 19-18.
      2. The meeting took five hours. There were four rounds of voting. The process involved endless speechifying and countless deals made on the side to reach the final decision. Typical political fodder.
      3. All rumors of Cynthia Dunbar, RPV’s National Committeewoman, jumping from her fresh loss two weeks ago in the 6th District, into the 5th District race, were true. As Bearing Drift’s Rollin Reisinger noted, you can’t make this stuff up. She came within one vote of winning. (See Cynthia Dunbar: Two House Races, Two Weeks, Too Much Power.)
      4. Denver Riggleman is owner or co-owner or something with the distillery located on Rt. 151 in Nelson County with the big Silverback gorilla statue in front (see here, here).  As a businessman with a growing business, he has been battling the state of Virginia over liquor regulations and announced in 2017 Silverback would expand into Pennsylvania because of it. A year ago he pulled out of the 2017 gubernatorial race; this time he had a four-day campaign to win the most votes of the 37-member 5th District Committee, and succeeded. (Update: Riggleman’s wife is owner of Silverback.)
      5. Tweet from @LarrySabato: “The real headline, besides Riggleman winning, is how Dunbar came so close. She would have turned VA05 into Toss Up, or even in time, Leans D. Fascinating that Dunbar (far-right) and Riggleman (pretty libertarian) are about as different as you get in the modern GOP. As is, LEANS R.” twitter.com/geoffreyvs/sta…
      6. Dunbar was backed by Chris and Diana Shores, 5th District residents who were part of Dunbar’s losing campaign in the 6th District, and as voters on the 5th District committee threw their support to Dunbar on Saturday. That’s two U.S. House campaigns in two congressional districts in two weeks that the Shores lost.
      7. Riggleman’s young campaign team may forecast the future of the 5th District; after all, he was supported by College and Young Republicans, often because of his more relaxed views toward social issues.
      8. Four rounds of voting. Elevan candidates: Joe Whited, Denver Riggleman, Martha Boneta, Michael Del Rosso, Del. Michael Webert, Dale Woodson, Jim McKelvey, Sen. Bill Stanley, Paul R. Gwaz, Harold R. Gielow, and Cynthia Dunbar. Nominations were made and seconded for: Dunbar, Boneta, Webert, Whited, Del Rosso, Riggleman. Round 1 (only top 4 top voter getters move on): Dunbar 15; Whited 6; Riggleman 6; del Rosso 5. Bill Stanley withdrew his name before Round 1. Round 2 (only top 3 vote getters move on): Dunbar 14; Riggleman 13; del Rosso 9. Round 3 (only top 2 vote getters move on): Dunbar 16, Riggleman 15, del Rosso 6. Final Round 4 (between top 2 vote getters): Riggleman 19, Dunbar 18. Denver Riggleman wins the 5th District congressional nomination.
      9. Riggleman pledged earlier in the week to join the libertarian-leaning Freedom Caucus if he makes it to the U.S. House.
      10. Riggleman is against Dominion’s pipeline that would move natural gas across Virginia. (See here, here)

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    Saturday: All GOP Eyes Are On Virginia’s 5th Congressional District — LIVE UPDATES
    Cynthia Dunbar: Two House Races, Two Weeks, Too Hungry for Power
    Rep. Garrett’s Withdrawal Resets Virginia’s 5th Congressional District Race — In the GOP’s Favor
    A Citizen Candidates Steps Forward
    5th GOP District Plants Meeting This Satursday to Pick Nominee for Garrett Seat