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Distillery Owner Republican Defeats Former CBS Journalist In Virginia House Race

Heavy government regulations threatened to close Denver Riggleman’s distillery. Now, he’s going to be representing the state of Virginia as he fights back.


Republican Denver Riggleman defeated Democrat Leslie Cockburn in Tuesday’s midterm election, holding on to GOP control of Virginia’s 5th District. Riggleman, an Air Force veteran, defense contractor, and small business owner, was endorsed by President Trump. Cockburn is a former “60 Minutes” producer and mother to actress Olivia Wilde.

Although VA-5 has been Republican for a decade, Democrats were targeting the district as part of their effort to win control of the House after Rep. Tom Garrett announced he would not seek reelection.

Riggleman and his wife, Christine, own and operate Silverback Distillery in Afton, Virginia, where they produce vodka, whisky, bourbon, and gin. They’ve fought a sea of bureaucratic roadblocks and costly state liquor regulations threatening to put them out of business. These threats to their family distillery contributed to Rigglman’s decision to run for Congress and label himself a “liberty Republican.”

“You’re terrified some nights. How are you going to afford the profit transfer?” Riggleman said. “So now that I’ve lived the American Dream and you think you’re there, you have this Fred Kruger government nightmare coming in trying to rip that apart.”

You can watch the full story of Riggleman’s fight for freedom here: