Virginia Republican Congressional Candidate Accused of Being into Bigfoot Porn July 31, 2018

Virginia Republican Congressional Candidate Accused of Being into Bigfoot Porn

This is not the Onion.

If you thought political discourse in the U.S. had already hit rock bottom, you might be surprised to learn the most recent controversy: A Republican politician in Virginia is having to refute claims that he has a Bigfoot erotica fetish.

The hairy situation began when Leslie Cockburn, a Democrat who’s running for the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia’s 5th District, called out her opponent on Twitter. She said Republican Denver Riggleman had “been exposed as a devotee of Bigfoot erotica.”

So, is Cockburn lying or was Riggleman trying to hide a rather surprising fetish? It turns out the answer is… a bit more nuanced than that.

The Instagram post Cockburn included in her tweet, featuring a Sasquatch creature with a “censored” box covering his mythical member, was indeed posted by Riggleman. As the post itself indicates, the image (which has since been deleted) is draft cover art for a book he wrote called The Mating Habits of Bigfoot and Why Women Want Him.

In a response you don’t expect to hear from any congressional candidate, Riggleman insisted that he has no interest at all in Bigfoot porn.

Reached by phone Monday morning, Riggleman said he has no interest at all in Bigfoot erotica, and he characterized Cockburn’s accusation as ludicrous. “We’re stunned by it.”

He said that he did write an “anthropological book sort of based on parody and satire,” which has been a running joke with “a bunch of military pals” for the past 14 years. The Bigfoot image that Cockburn grabbed from Instagram was drawn by an artist friend who told Riggleman, “This is the best way to present your book.”

“I thought it was funny. There is no way that anybody’s dumb enough to think this is real,” said Riggleman, a former Air Force intelligence officer and defense contractor who owns a Nelson County distillery with his wife.

Riggleman also clarified that he doesn’t believe in Bigfoot either, though he didn’t want to alienate any voters who did. He reiterated his desire to one day self-publish that book, too. (That may have to wait until after his political career has ended.)

Ultimately, his version of the story makes sense. There’s no Bigfoot. There’s no Bigfoot erotica fetish. There’s just a weird inside joke that’s now being taken out of context in an effort to discredit his candidacy.

It’s also a stretch for Cockburn. She’s up against a Republican in 2018. She doesn’t have to resort to out-of-context Bigfoot porn to make a credible case against his candidacy. He’s already said his goal is to “help pass the President’s agenda.” If that’s not enough to run against as a Democrat, what is she doing?

Riggleman also claims he wants to “drag the swamp monsters to dry land.” That’s… an awkward choice of words. (And do what with them, Denver?)

This district was easily won by a Republican in 2016. The Cook Political Report says it leans Republican. That means Riggleman has a solid chance of winning, which is probably why his opponent is throwing out anything she can to see if it has an effect. I doubt it’ll work. So if you’re looking for a copy of the Bigfoot book, you may have to wait a little longer.

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