RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Outgoing Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) is spending his last weeks in office denouncing the spread of misinformation about the results of the election and calling out conspiracy theories, telling 8News in an interview that political tribalism has driven him to not want to be “affiliated with any party at all.”

An outspoken GOP congressman who describes himself as “socially libertarian,” Riggleman has been critical of other members of his party who have still not recognized President-elect Joe Biden’s victory against President Donald Trump.

While his future plans in politics remain unclear, Riggleman says a run for Virginia governor is on the table.

Riggleman explained that his opposition to a Republican convention, which the party seems poised to hold instead of a primary, has led him to only consider running as an independent. After the new year, Riggleman will leave office and be replaced by Bob Good, a former Campbell County Board of Supervisors member, who defeated him in a convention.

“You know how I feel about conventions and the state party chose a convention for the gubernatorial run,” Riggleman said. “And, you know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. And, you know, after 12 years of losing badly, they decided to double down on losing. The convention candidate who comes out can’t beat whoever the Democrats pick in a primary.”

Riggleman criticized using a convention for the nominating process, noting that it was held at a church that Good was linked to. A notable point of attack Good focused on during the campaign was Riggleman’s decision to preside over a same-sex wedding last year.

On Sunday, the Appomattox County Republican Committee released a statement disapproving of Riggleman’s involvement in the wedding. The committee stated that the decision “goes against the values and principles of the Republican Party betraying and disregarding the concerns for the many Conservative and Christian voters in the 5th district who elected Denver Riggleman to the United States House of Representatives” when it unanimously censured Riggleman.

“You’re not the party of liberty or morals. You’re the party of authoritarianism. That’s what you are. You want people to think like you, I don’t think like them, right,” Riggleman responded. “And by the way, you really can’t argue with me on the way that I vote. This isn’t Republican, right? This is some kind of, I would say, offshoot of the party. It’s almost like a redefined nativist party that’s come out of Virginia.”

“That’s not who I am. I hope the vote was unanimous,” he continued. “And I like to tell all of them, I don’t hate you. I don’t, I don’t know why you think about me so much, but maybe you should go live your life. Maybe, maybe you shouldn’t care how other people live. That’s not the Republican way. We do not want a party that’s just small enough to fit in the bedroom.”

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