After weeks of speculation, Virginia distillery owner Denver Riggleman announced his candidacy for Governor today via Facebook. With Riggleman officially in the race, Virginia’s gubernatorial primary now becomes a 4-way race between Riggleman and frontrunner Ed Gillespie, Senator Frank Wagner and Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart.
“Friends, I’m running for Governor. Many of you are very close to me, please share this and ‘like’ the ‘Denver For Governor‘ page and spread the word. I’m running for Governor. Website should be up soon. And yes, that’s our still, named ‘Is-She’ posing with me in the photo. I’m excited to serve—and share who I am with the Virginia voters. It’s time for someone to represent the values of Virginia. Let’s ride.” – Denver Riggleman (via Facebook)
Riggleman first became a subject of speculation within political circles during the Republican Party of Virginia’s annual Advance back in early December. He since hired campaign manager Zach Werrell, who successfully managed the campaigns of both Congressman Dave Brat (2014) and newly elected Congressman Tom Garrett (2016). Leading up to today’s announcement, Riggleman has made several media appearances and supporters launched a social media campaign on his behalf with the Facebook page “Draft Denver (for Governor)“.
In a statement released earlier this evening, Riggleman expresses a desire to “radically change business as usual in Virginia” as motivation for seeking the Governor’s Mansion.
“I am running to radically change business as usual in Virginia. The plain truth is that the system is wired for lobbyists and large donors and against small business and the people. I have explored every other avenue to fight for not just myself but for the people of Virginia. I believe someone needs to use blunt force trauma to break up the good ole boy system in Richmond that, as Ronald Reagan said, ‘takes from the needy to give to the greedy.’”
The Denver for Governor campaign will host their official campaign kick-off this Saturday, January 15th at Silverback Distillery from 11:00am – 2:00pm.