Virginia GOP committee censures congressman after he officiated same-sex wedding

Politics

U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman, R-Va., was censured by the Rappahannock County Republican Committee last week over his voting record, his third reprimand by a local GOP group since officiating a same-sex wedding several weeks ago.

The committee cited Riggleman’s votes for sending military support to Saudi Arabia and ignoring protests against granting more visas for foreign workers for its effort against the freshman lawmaker.

A committee member told the Rappahannock News the vote was “not even close.”

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A statement announcing the censure said Riggleman, who represents Virginia‘s 5th Congressional District, has voted “for continuing resolutions for out-of-control spending that increase inflation and jeopardizes the economic stability and well-being of the citizens of Rappahannock County and of the … district.”

Riggleman’s office on Monday defended his conservative record in an interview with The Hill, saying the censure was a form of punishment for officiating the July 14 wedding.

“This censure in Rappahannock is part of an ongoing effort to punish Denver Riggleman for his recent officiation of a same sex wedding. Denver Riggleman has an excellent conservative voting record that has brought jobs back to the 5th District,” Riggleman spokesman Joe Chelak told The Hill in a statement.

The couple are two conservative Republicans who volunteered for Riggleman’s campaign last year, the politics website said.

The GOP committee is the third local GOP group to admonish Riggleman. The Bedford County Republican Committee voted to censure Riggleman earlier this month and the Cumberland County Republican Committee passed a vote of no confidence in July.

A group from the 5th District Republican Committee unsuccessfully tried censuring Riggleman in July.

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His office did not immediately return a Fox News request for comment.

The most recent censure effort has fueled speculation that local GOP groups are looking to run a more conservative challenger against Riggleman. He garnered national headlines in 2018 when his Democratic opponent accused him of circulating “Bigfoot erotica” and supporting white supremacists.

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