Local businessman and Air Force veteran Denver Riggleman was nominated on Saturday to run for congress by the 5th Congressional District Republican Committee. It took multiple ballots before Riggleman was ultimately nominated by acclamation.
Six candidates showed up and asked the committee to nominate them. In-order for an individual to be nominated, a committee member had to put forward that candidate’s name and the motion needed to be seconded. 37 committee members were the only ones who could vote. The 5th District Committee did a great job facilitating a fair and open process.
The six candidates who officially ran were Liberty Farm owner Martha Boneta, Delegate Michael Webert, 2016 congressional candidates Joe Whited and Mike Del Rosso, RNC Committeewoman Cynthia Dunbar, and the eventual winner Riggleman.
The first surprise of the day was when State Senator Bill Stanley, who was talked about as a serious contender, did not have his name put forward. Apparently he had asked the committee not to consider him. Without Stanley and without Jim McKelvey, a business leader who also decided not to run, the southern part of the district didn’t have a favorite son to support.
This blog thought Riggleman and Webert were the two best candidates. Webert is a true conservative with a rock-solid voting record in the House of Delegates. He is also a farmer by profession and the 5th is a rural district with plenty of farm land. He would’ve been a very compelling candidate in the General Election. But his House of Delegates district is in Fauquier and Rappahannock, which sits like an island on top of the rest of this district which stretches all the way down to Danville. Webert just isn’t well-known on this committee and was unfortunately out early.
As for Riggleman, he is a great candidate. He has an intriguing background with his service in the Air Force as an intelligence officer and his work with the Pentagon. He also has a very interesting story of how, as a small business owner, he had to jump through so many bureaucratic loops to get his business, which is in Nelson County, up and running. His honesty and integrity are easy to see, and he has another element to him; it’s a certain charisma that few candidates have. He is just a likable guy who you find yourself rooting for. So his background as a veteran, his current situation as a business owner, and his overall likability are relatable messages that will be easily communicated to district voters.
In the end the committee united behind their choice of Denver Riggleman as the Republican nominee (photo below). Republicans have a great candidate who we all can get behind. Onward to November.