Riggleman says he cut ad for Democrat because he can’t support ‘facts-challenged individuals’
Former Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman (Va.) said he cut an ad for a Democratic congresswoman because he is unable to support “facts-challenged individuals” running in elections.
Riggleman, who served in the House as a Republican for two years before changing his political affiliation to Independent, put out an ad for Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), who is running in a competitive reelection race against Republican Yesli Vega, who has called the results of the 2020 presidential election into question.
“If you’re afraid to come out and say President Biden was elected legally and fairly, there’s no way I can support that kind of ridiculousness,” Riggleman told The Washington Post.
In the ad, Riggleman touts Spanberger’s bipartisan record.
“This is not a typical political ad,” Riggleman said in the video’s opening. “I’m a Republican congressman saying nice things about a Democrat.”
“The parties sit apart and don’t sit together — except Abigail Spanberger,” he adds.
He cited a report that found Spanberger to be among the most bipartisan members of Congress.
Spanberger, who has served in the House since 2019, is vying for a third term representing Virginia’s 7th Congressional District. The race is rated a “toss-up” by Cook Political Report.
In an interview with the Post about his ad for Spanberger, Riggleman cited remarks Vega made in April that “there’s evidence that continues to come out that indicates that the election of 2020 was interfered with.”
The Republican said she did not think the election was “stolen,” but added “I don’t want to speculate … I need more evidence.” She made the comments at a candidate forum, of which a recording was obtained by VPM.
Riggleman also cited Vega’s embrace of an endorsement from Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, a conservative activist and the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The Jan. 6 House select committee interviewed Ginni Thomas last month, after news surfaced that she reportedly exchanged emails with the lawyer who drafted memos for the Trump campaign on ways to keep then-President Trump in office.
The ad featuring Riggleman is running in the Washington, D.C., and Charlottesville media markets, and cost more than half a million dollars, according to Spanberger’s campaign. It will run for most of October.
Riggleman announced in June that he considered himself an independent after serving in Congress as a Republican, telling CNN that he “made the decision privately a month or two ago.”
The ex-lawmaker lost his reelection primary in 2020 to Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) after coming under criticism from his party for officiating a same-sex wedding. The Virginia County Republican Party censured him in 2019.
Riggleman was also an opponent of Trump’s claims of election fraud.
Following his tenure in Congress, the ex-lawmaker worked as an adviser to the Jan. 6 select committee. He stirred up controversy with the panel last month after dropping a bombshell revelation about the committee’s still-private work while promoting his book about the committee’s probe.
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