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Denver Riggleman Clinches 5th District Republican Nomination

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The Republican Party officially has a nominee to represent Virginia's 5th Congressional District in November's election.

At a special meeting on Saturday, June 2, the party selected central Virginia businessman and veteran Denver Riggleman.

Riggleman battled five other opponents in a highly contested race that took four rounds of voting to decide. He will now represent the Republican Party this fall after current Congressman Tom Garrett’s recent announcement that he will not seek re-election.

“The last time when I won was when I met my wife in 1986,” says Riggleman. “It doesn't feel that good, but it feels pretty good.”

Riggleman is a former Air Force intelligence officer who now owns Silverback Distillery in Afton.

“The next step is to go to the local committees, see what they need, but it’s also to get this campaign rolling for fundraising and all the things that we have to do,” says Riggleman.

Other candidates who were vying for the spot included Cynthia Dunbar, who also challenged for the 6th District Republican nomination but ultimately lost to Ben Cline.

Voting took four rounds, but Riggleman eventually gained the majority over Dunbar. His next challenger will be Democrat Leslie Cockburn.

“To go against Leslie Cockburn, I think what I need to do is just be completely truthful and honest about where I stand," says Riggleman.

This special meeting on Saturday was quickly cobbled together after Garrett announced on Monday that he would no longer seek re-election. He attended the meeting, and says his break from politics to battle substance abuse does not mean his career in politics is finished.

“I don't want to be defined by this, and I’m not done, by golly,” says Garrett.

Riggleman says, like Garrett, he is all about transparency.

“When I start telling the truth, or I talk about it, they’re gonna know exactly where I stand, no double talk, no deals, I’m Denver Riggleman and that’s what I’m gonna do, if they don’t like it well I really don’t care,” says Riggleman.

And he says he’s not concerned about Cockburn's four-week head start.

“I’m pretty smart on the issues, and I think we can catch them so, yeah, they’re gonna have a fundraising, maybe, they’re ahead in fundraising, maybe, I’m going against Hollywood, I wanna say right now because I don't curse on the air, I don’t give a rats behind how far ahead they are.

Riggleman will square-off against Cockburn in November.

Cockburn acknowledged his nomination on Twitter, saying that when it comes to political issues he is Tom Garrett's twin.

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