A Republican House candidate who allegedly “liked” and shared a number of controversial social media posts, including a lewd drawing of Bigfoot, defeated his Democratic opponent by a sizeable margin on Tuesday.
Republican Denver Riggleman, a Trump-backed brewery owner, won Virginia’s 5th Congressional District with 53.3% of the vote, compared to Democrat Leslie Cockburn’s 46.7%, according to the Associated Press.
In July, Riggleman’s social media habits were scrutinized after Cockburn, an award-winning investigative journalist, shared a screenshot of an Instagram post in which Riggleman shared a lewd image of Bigfoot — the hairy, humanoid creature from North American folklore.
Riggleman described his image as a “#matinghabitsofbigfoot” cover art, and noted in the caption, “I hide nothing in this magnificent tome. Don’t erase the censor box.”
Cockburn described the sighting as “Bigfoot erotica,” and said in a tweet that “this is not what we need on Capitol Hill.”
The Representative-elect has since made his Instagram private for his 295 followers, and reportedly said his picture was merely a joke between his military friends.
Riggleman also drew criticism after “liking” several Facebook pages that shared controversial material, including political messages couched in sexual innuendo. Following a BuzzFeed News report on his social media habits, Riggleman reportedly took back his “likes”; and some of the pages were no longer active.
In a meme that superimposed Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s face on a Native American — apparently a satirical reference to her claims she was of Native American descent — Riggleman commented “She is such an idiot.” according to screenshots a Democratic opposition research firm shared to BuzzFeed News.
Virginia’s 5th Congressional District seat was once occupied by Republican Rep. Tom Garrett, who abruptly left his position after staffers accused him and his wife of forcing them to go on personal errands. Garrett later admitted he was struggling with alcohol addiction.