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A Republican House candidate had to deny that he’s into Bigfoot porn

“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."

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Jul 30 2018, 5:13pm

When Denver Riggleman found out that Leslie Cockburn, his opponent in a Virginia race for U.S. House seat, had accused him of being “a devotee of Bigfoot erotica,” he laughed.

“We actually thought it was a bit of a joke, because everything about it was a joke,” Riggleman told VICE News Monday.

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Cockburn, a Democrat running against the Republican Riggleman for Virginia’s 5th Congressional District, tweeted the bizarre cryptozoological accusation on Sunday night.

“My opponent Denver Riggleman, running mate of Corey Stewart, was caught on camera campaigning with a white supremacist,” Cockburn wrote, apparently referring to the Democratic Party of Virginia’s allegation that Riggleman had campaigned with Isaac Smith, a member of the white nationalist group Unity and Security for America. “Now he has been exposed as a devotee of Bigfoot erotica. This is not what we need on Capitol Hill.”

Cockburn, a journalist and the mother of the actress Olivia Wilde, later followed up with another photo from Riggleman’s Instagram (which is now set to private).

Riggleman does admit an interest in Bigfoot: He was involved in the writing of two books on the subject, “Bigfoot Exterminators Inc.: The Partially Cautionary, Mostly True Tale of Monster Hunt 2006,” and “Mating Habits of Bigfoot and Why Women Want Him.” He says the former detailed a “parody expedition” for Bigfoot, and the latter is an unpublished satire that he compared to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

The “Bigfoot Exterminators Inc.” book, which Riggleman also called “anthropological” and which he co-authored with former ESPN writer Don Barone, does contain several sexual references, as noted by the Daily Beast. A character mentions baiting a Bigfoot with menstrual blood, for example; it’s also claimed that “Bigfoots like sex, too.”

But Riggleman says neither work is Bigfoot erotica.

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“I was military intelligence, so when you travel around the country and the world, people bring up very bizarre things and then when you start questioning them about it, you realize that they have these different belief systems,” Riggleman explained. He added, “I just was very interested in why these people believe in Bigfoot. And they’re great people.”

He added, “And then military pals thought it was hilarious. And this became a 14-year running sort of satire and joke, between me and my pals.”

The illustration with his head superimposed over a Bigfoot body, Riggleman said, was from a birthday card. The other illustration was simply a “funny picture” sent to Riggleman.

Riggleman, who served in the U.S. Air Force and now owns a distillery, also denied that he had ever campaigned with any white supremacist or white nationalist. The Democratic Party of Virginia first alleged that Riggleman had campaigned with Smith last month. In a video provided to VICE News by the Democratic Party of Virginia, a man who looks like Smith can be seen in a room that a NBC affiliate said was full of Riggleman supporters.

Riggleman wrote an op-ed for the Roanoke Times last Wednesday, decrying white supremacy, in which he called neo-Nazis “cultural parasites,” and said he did not want their vote.

“Not only do I deny it, I think it’s a ridiculous assertion,” he said of both of Cockburn’s Twitter accusations. Cockburn’s campaign didn’t immediately reply to a VICE News request for comment.

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