I have tried very hard to stay away from politics on this blog. But since the 2016 election, it has become increasingly more and more difficult to do so. And a Congressional race in Virginia just had to get bizarre enough to attract the attention of the paranormal and cryptozoology communities. In a completely bananas attempt at mudslinging, Democratic candidate Leslie Cockburn (a meme unto herself) accused her opponent, Republican candidate Denver Riggleman, of not only being a white supremacist sympathizer, but far worse than that, a Bigfoot erotica enthusiast. Don’t believe me? Then check out this article from the fake news site CNN. Sad.
Washington (CNN) – In one of the more bizarre episodes of the midterm elections this year, the race for Virginia’s 5th Congressional District has come down to a fight over “Bigfoot erotica” and whether one candidate is into it.
Democratic candidate Leslie Cockburn tweeted on Sunday that, in addition to campaigning with a white supremacist, Republican candidate Denver Riggleman was “a devotee of Bigfoot erotica” — both charges that Riggleman denied in an interview with CNN.
“My opponent Denver Riggleman, running mate of Corey Stewart, was caught on camera campaigning with a white supremacist. Now he has been exposed as a devotee of Bigfoot erotica. This is not what we need on Capitol Hill,” Cockburn tweeted along with a photo of a nude Bigfoot, apparently from Riggleman’s Instagram.
Riggleman, however, told CNN that the accusation about a sexual interest in Bigfoot was absurd and acknowledged writing two books on Bigfoot, including an unpublished text called “The Mating Habits of Bigfoot and Why Women Want Him,” both of which he said were “parody” and stemmed from running jokes he had with friends from the military.
Riggleman also said did not believe in Bigfoot, but added that he did not want to “alienate” the Bigfoot vote and said the entire thing was a joke that his opponent had seized upon unfairly.
“I think we probably jumped the shark on stupid,” Riggleman said.
Riggleman’s Bigfoot history seemed to have first gained traction after The Cook Political Report noted it in its recent overview of House races. The report pointed out that the Facebook author page for the Bigfoot book had recently been deleted and that Riggleman’s Instagram was set to private, but used to be “peppered with images of what can only be described as Bigfoot-themed erotic art.”
In a statement, Cockburn campaign manager Louise Bruce accused Riggleman of “scrubbing his social media of ‘Bigfoot erotica’ and who knows what else.”
Riggleman said they put his Instagram on private to avoid “weird comments,” but at this point that was past them, so they would look at making the account public again.
As the Bigfoot story gained traction online, the Riggleman campaign seemed to lean into it by sharing a video from conservative libertarian activist Matt Kibbe posted on Monday afternoon in which Riggleman played up the strange news cycle and went into a pretty extensive explanation about different “Bigfoot belief systems.”
“Check out this video on my research into the Bigfoot myth,” Riggelman tweeted. “I sure don’t know what Bigfoot Erotica is, @LeslieCockburn knows more about that than I do apparently – but I can talk about Bigfoot theories all day. See the video here #bigfoot #va05.”
I mean, I know when I make a joke with friends, I will sometimes maybe go through a modicum of effort to make a meme to send to them, or even do a quickie blog post. Writing two books takes a bit more of a time investment than a meme. Especially for someone running for Congress. But who am I to #kinkshame. Covfefe.