Denver Riggleman Resorts to Lawfare to Keep Congressional Seat During Coronavirus Pandemic

Congressman Denver Riggleman, the anti-Trump gay marriage officiator representing Virginia’s 5th District, has resorted to lawfare as he tries to hang on to his seat during the coronavirus crisis.

A draft lawsuit has been made, although not filed at the present time, on behalf of Riggleman and his political committee against the Virginia Department of Elections, the Republican Party of Virginia, the 5th District Republican Party committee, and various state election officials.

Riggleman hopes that his legal threat will make the state GOP and district GOP conduct a primary rather than a convention because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Given the current pandemic impacting the Commonwealth and the Nation, as a member of the Committee, I would, if permitted by the Republican Party of Virginia and permitted by the laws of the Commonwealth, vote to have a primary and instruct the Fifth District Chairman to notify the Virginia State Board of Elections of the intent to hold a primary election in the Fifth Congressional District,” states Riggleman’s proposed declaration in support of plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction submitted to committee members.

Bob Good, Riggleman’s right-wing challenger for the seat who has called out the incumbent’s anti-conservative record on social issues, claims that he has enough delegates supporting him to defeat Riggleman at convention. He believes that Riggleman’s lawfare is a desperate attempt to preserve his political career.

Good’s supporters have drafted another lawsuit against Riggleman, 5th Committee GOP chairman Melvin Adams and various committee members in an attempt to prevent the arbitrary change. Riggleman’s political campaign is up in arms because of the threat.

“The congressman is appalled and disgusted that the Bob Good campaign would allow one of their most ardent supporters to single out committee members in a lawsuit,” wrote Kurt Lofquist, who works as political director for Riggleman.

“These types of intimidation factors are not in the spirit of the party or law and should not be tolerated,” he added.

Adams says that the lawsuit was unnecessary because “switching to a primary is completely off the table.”

“These threats usually come from people who desperately want to feel they have power, and get their kicks from their expression, similar to individuals who spout off on social media without impunity,” Adams said. “However, the particular presentation and threat to the committee membership was over the top. It is being addressed in an appropriate manner.”

It does not look like Riggleman’s legal maneuvering will be able to change the political process of Virginia. He is just the latest of many government officials attempting to use the turmoil related to the coronavirus pandemic to help his political ambitions.