Hours after Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Va.) made the surprise announcement that he will not seek reelection in Virginia’s district 5 , potential candidates began jockeying to replace him and one officially entered the race.
Denver Riggleman, a former Air Force intelligence officer and distillery owner who ran a short-lived campaign as a populist Republican candidate for the governor’s mansion last year, said he is seeking the party’s  nomination to help pass President Trump’s agenda in Congress: “It takes a real outsider with real world experience to drag the swamp monsters to dry land”.
“As a veteran and small business owner, I am perfectly suited for that task,” Riggleman said in a statement.
Members of the Republican Party’s 5th District committee will choose a nominee to face Democrat Leslie Cockburn in November. Riggleman is just the first of several likely candidates,  to publicly confirm he will run after Garrett announced his struggle with alcoholism.
Other potential candidates, include four from the State’s General Assembly – Senators William M. Stanley Jr., Jill Holtzman Vogel, Bryce E. Reeves and Del. Robert B. Bell. Tech executive Michael Del Rosso and businessman  Jim McKelvey are regarded as possible contenders, as well.
Although the district includes liberal enclaves, such as Charlottesville, most voters there are conservative and backed Trump by 11 points.