Today: Live Updates of 5th Congressional District Convention With Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman

UPDATE: Virginia GOP 5th Congressional District Wrap-Up

Saturday in Lynchburg and the Republican 5th Congressional District convention is in full swing with drive-thru voting from 8:00 this morning until 7:00 this evening.

Bearing Drift’s Matt Hall is helping Congressman Denver Riggleman’s campaign on location as they greet voters on this beautiful sunny morning, and tag teaming with Bearing Drift editor-in-chief Lynn Mitchell at the Bearing Drift desk as updates come in through the day. Stay tuned for the latest….

Friday night it became known that Denver Riggleman’s opponent, Bob Good, had not filed his paperwork with the State Board of Elections to have his name on the ballot (see Bob Good Makes 11th Hour Mistake, Forgets To File Paperwork).

“The Wedding That Started a Republican Civil War” from Emma Green at The Atlantic published this morning. Emma talked with two of Bearing Drift’s contributors while researching the battle in the 5th Congressional District.

From The Atlantic:

“We’ve played the ‘Who’s the bigger Christian?’ game in the Republican Party for a long time,” says Matt Hall, a conservative commentator who writes for Bearing Drift, a website focused on Virginia politics. “Bob comes from that minority—that small group of people that says you have to be this way or that way to be a Republican.” …

Out of the roughly 3,500 people preregistered as delegates, some will have to drive several hours to cast their ballot on Saturday morning in the parking lot of Tree of Life Ministries in Lynchburg—Good’s home turf—remaining in their cars to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The whole process is set up to encourage participation from the people with the strongest views. “We have an old saying that liberals and conservatives have passion. Moderates have lives,” Tom Davis, a former congressman in Virginia’s Eleventh District, told me.

All of this may end up putting a relatively safe Republican seat in jeopardy. …

… in Virginia, they have a choice: Build coalitions, or pursue tribal politics. … The social conservatives in the Fifth District may get revenge on the congressman who openly defied them, at least in the short term. But in the long term, the future of the party may belong to people like [the gay couple Denver married]. …

When the couple load up their blue sedan, with its Riggleman and UVA bumper stickers, and drive to Lynchburg today, they won’t just be voting for Riggleman. They’re voting for a different kind of Republican Party.


UPDATE Sunday, June 14, 2020: The results were announced around 1:30 am. Denver Riggleman lost in the final vote tally. Read more at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

11:00: No voter results yet. There have been issues over Campbell County.

 9:18: A campaign staffer just announced to the rain-drenched crowd that it would be at least another hour.

9:10: … and the rains move in as people wait for results more than two hours after voting ended. Ryan Saylor of WFXR tweeted that the watch party for Good For Congress got washed out with supporters and media retreating to their cars. And the wait continues.

8:40: Still no word on results….

7:30: Many thanks to Matt Hall for giving up his Saturday to take pics and talk with folks at this most unusual convention. Since it was drive-thru convention, there were no clusters of talkers to glean tidbits of information from, and volunteers were doing their thing with signs, grilling hotdogs and hamburgers, handing out ballots, and other tasks.

Matt “filed” this:

No I do not have results.

Thank you Tommy Kelley for allowing use of your bathroom.

And someone get me a phone charger. And an alcoholic beverage.

I’m hot, sweaty, sunburnt, and gross.

Matt is hanging around waiting for the final results and we’ll pass them on asap.

7:00: Voting has closed for the 5th Congressional District convention. Matt Hall is sticking around (it’s been a long day for those folks) and we will have results when they are available.

6:30: Voting for 5th District: Counties with 100% delegate voting completed are being counted even though voting continues until 7pm.

6:15: Here’s Amy Freidenberger’s article for the Roanoke Times.

6:10: FIRST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT RESULTS from their Convention today:

Trudy Feigum
Hon. Scott Lingamfelter
Hon. Ryan McDougle

Alternate National Delegates:
Pat Dunnington
Dottie Miller
Russ Wright

State Central Committee:
Willie Deutsch
Heather Stefl
Russ Wright

6:00: Counting has begun but voting continues until 7:00

5:45: Matt with Jean Gannon who is running for RNC National Committeewoman



5:40: And then there was this tweet from Roanoke Times reporter Amy Friedenberger earlier….


5:30: Del. Kathy Byron and Dexter Gaines.

5:25: Keeping in mind that some people drove hours because the 5th District stretches north to the D.C. suburbs and down to Lynchburg at the southern end to Bob Good’s own church … as opposed to holding the convention in a central location in the District.


5:25: A tweet with video from someone who was at the convention about the long line of cars and the long wait.

5:05: Some of the Young Republicans out today helping Denver Riggleman.

4:50: “The kitchen.” Riggleman volunteers have a breather before the next rush.


4:40: Kimmy Kruskakmp is about to go into labor, no joke says Matt, about to deliver a kid, and is out voting and sign-waving for Riggleman. Lots of volunteers helping to get Denver across the finish line.


4:30: I’ve had lots of folks calling, emailing, and texting wanting to know how it looks (sorry if I haven’t gotten back with you yet). There is nothing official and it’s very difficult in this kind of convention. The volunteers say there have been many delegates showing up for both sides so that’s about as much as we can provide. I’m sorry we have nothing more but will surely pass it along when we know anything.


Photo by Tommy Kelley


Photo by Tommy Kelley


Photo by Tommy Kelley

4:30: Traffic jam at 5th District Convention. And we have pics from Bearing Drift photo stringer Tommy Kelley.  🙂


4:00: Lex Pisciarino and Rek LeCounte, the couple Denver Riggleman married in the summer of 2019, are volunteers at today’s convention helping the Riggleman campaign.

4:00: Noah Davis, Charlotte County Chairman, with Matt

3:30: LONG lines of cars along the street waiting to turn into the parking lot to vote.


3:15: Here’s today’s ballot.


2:45: Denver and Christine Riggleman … 34 years and 4 elections later, still in love.


2:30: Early afternoon lull….

2:20: Volunteers volunteers volunteers. They are the heart of any organization and are a valuable asset and appreciated.

2:00: Back from lunch and Denver’s loud and exhilerated crew of volunteers is cooking hamburgers and hotdogs for their delegates who are spending so much time waiting in lines, and serving water and soft drinks. From the rowdiness I’m hearing on while Facetiming with the guys, it sounds like a party.

1:30: Two of my political sons met for lunch – Matt and Tommy Kelley. Now they are both on their way back to the convention to work the afternoon for the Congressman.

Lunch Break: Matt has taken a break to grab lunch with another of my political sons (will post pic when it arrives) but, meanwhile, here’s what Matt said: “Taking a quick break from the action. My most important job besides being a Christian is to be a husband. Lauren checked online and a purse she wanted was on sale at the Belk in Lynchburg. So I took a lunch break to pick her up something nice. Politics is fun; marriage is way more important.”

Keep your feet grounded and never let politics become the #1 most important thing in your life….


12:08: From Facebook…. (above pic)


12:00 Noon – Media: Media are banned from voting area and quarantined to a small, roped-off area along the main street.

Media in attendance: NBC-29 Charlottesville, WBDJ-7 Roanoke, CBS-19, WFXR Fox Roanoke, Washington Post, Roanoke Times


11:55: Latest update says the lines are still about an hour waiting to vote as people wait in their cars for the drive-thru ballot. It’s 76 degrees and reports on the ground are it’s a perfect day – not too hot, not too cold — with hardly a cloud in the sky. Everyone is in good spirits in the Riggleman camp as they take care of delegates and work the lines. The convention had 3,000+ delegates to sign up.

Port-a-johns: There are two on the premises because no one is allowed to use church facilities.

11:45: Congressman Riggleman with daughter Abby.


11:30: The eyes of the nation are on the 5th District race today with national publications covering it the past several months.


11:25: Christine Riggleman and Matt Hall. Good turnout.

11:20: Matt Hall and Lauren Keiser. Delegates have to wait 45 minutes to an hour to vote so Denver is taking care of his delegates with water and soft drinks.

The weather is perfect: a beautiful bright sunny day with a breeze. Lots of Denver Riggleman volunteers on the ground.


11:00: Peter Foster helping Riggleman team.


10:25: Car spotted with confederate flag bumper stickers along side Bob Good bumper stickers (no photo).


9:40: Denver Riggleman’s daughters greet voters.


9:30: Lauren Riggleman + Denver’s grandchild

9:20: Denver greets voter.

9:00: Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Jack Wilson (third from left).

8:48: Roanoke Times political reporter Amy Friedenberger is improvising on the highway after media banned from voting area.

8:45: (Left to right) Bearing Drift’s Matt Colt Hall, Commonwealth’s Attorney Daniel Rutherford (running for GOP 5th District Chairman), and Jimmy Keady (Riggleman campaign) at voting location in Lynchburg.

8:30 a.m. The voting begins as Congressman Denver Riggleman greets voters arriving for drive-thru ballots early Saturday morning.

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