A Virginia Democrat running for the U.S. House of Representatives is going after her Republican opponent's alleged fascination with Bigfoot erotica.
Democrat Leslie Cockburn, a longtime journalist and progressive activist (and sister-in-law of the late Alexander Cockburn), is facing off against Republican Denver Riggleman, a former Air Force intelligence officer who owns a distillery. The candidates are running in Virginia's 5th Congressional District.
On Sunday, Cockburn posted screenshots from Riggleman's Instagram page of two nude illustrations of Bigfoot. The legendary creature's genitals are censored and Riggleman's head is superimposed onto the second image. In the captions, Riggleman teased the release of a book titled Mating Habits of Bigfoot and Why Women Want Him and suggested the illustrations would be "cover art."
Cockburn blasted Riggleman as "a devotee of Bigfoot erotica"—and accused him of "campaigning with a white supremacist" too:
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. pic.twitter.com/0eBvxFd6sG— Leslie Cockburn (@LeslieCockburn) July 29, 2018
From my opponent Denver Riggleman's Bigfoot erotica collection. pic.twitter.com/ELe0TWJh21— Leslie Cockburn (@LeslieCockburn) July 29, 2018
Riggleman says the illustrations are nothing more than a joke. As the Charlottesville Daily Progress reports:
According to Riggleman the posts do not originate from "Bigfoot erotica," but are a joke his military friends played on him. When he posted the images, Riggleman said, he never thought they would be used against him politically and described the tweets from Cockburn as "absurd."
Riggleman does have an interest in Bigfoot, having co-authored a book titled Bigfoot Exterminators Inc.: The Partially Cautionary, Mostly True Tale of Monster Hunt 2006. According to the Cook Political Report, Riggleman only recently deleted a Facebook author page promoting his "Mating Habits" book.
But it seems more likely that Riggleman has a weird sense of humor than that he's actually a "devotee of Bigfoot erotica." After all, the bio on his Instagram page, which has been set to private, suggests he doesn't take himself too seriously:
Own a distillery, consult on DoD matters and had a fun run for Governor. Love whiskey, hate tyranny and embrace liberty. Whiskey Rebellion always!
It's not the first time that monster porn has influenced a political race. Paul Evans, a Democratic candidate for Oregon's state legislature, was criticized in 2014 for writing a vampire erotica novel. Voters must not have cared too much, as Evans defeated his Republican opponent in the general election.
Cockburn's line of attack seems especially curious. As she mentioned, Riggleman has been accused of campaigning with white supremacist Isaac Smith. If Riggleman sympathizes with white supremacists (he says he doesn't), then voters have a legitimate reason to reject him in November.
But Riggleman's interest or lack thereof in Bigfoot erotica has no bearing on how he'll represent his district on Capitol Hill. Surely it's time for us to grow as a society and put these dark days of sasquatch-shaming behind us.
Photo Credit: Denver Riggleman/Instagram via Leslie Cockburn/Twitter