Denver Riggleman is a Republican congressman from Virginia who is a member of the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus in the US House of Representatives. Donald Trump has endorsed him for re-election and Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University, an utterly reactionary evangelical Christian who is one of Trump’s most ardent supporters, had also endorsed him. Thus you would think he was a shoo-in to once again obtain his party’s nomination to represent his congressional seat in Virginia. But on Tuesday he lost his primary race to rival Bob Good. Riggleman joins Democrat Dan Lipinski and Republican Steve King as the third incumbent congressperson to fail to win the party’s nomination in this election cycle.
What could possibly have turned Republican voters against him in a district that Trump won easily in 2016? He had officiated the same-sex wedding of two of his aides. That one simple act of decency was too much for these rabid homophobes and Good took full advantage of that tiny chink in Riggleman’s otherwise impermeable right-wing armor to challenge and defeat him in the primary.
Good has pledged to restore “Judeo-Christian” values to Congress, is a hardliner on immigration and wants English to be the official language of the US.
Ah, yes, those good old ‘Judeo-Christian values’, which is really code for extreme right-wing and hateful attitudes towards anyone who is not white and Christian. And such people especially hate the LGBT community.
As the Republican party steers itself further deep into the heart of bigot country, the Democrats see opportunities to pick off enough of their supporters to win congressional seats that they would have once considered hopeless.