WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- It’s a new job for incoming Congressman Denver Riggleman. He says he’s ready to start a new chapter for the Fifth District. Washington Correspondent Alana Austin tracks him down from Capitol Hill.
“It’s been a firehose treatment but as soon as they think that have you drowned, they just turn the water on a little bit more," said Rep-elect Denver Riggleman (R-VA).
Riggleman is putting his best foot forward as a brand new elected official for Virginia.
“It is just an honor to be here, and living the American Dream is pretty incredible.”
Riggleman says it’s a whirlwind learning his way around Capitol Hill, going through new lawmaker orientation, finding staff and hunting down a place to live. But once that’s out of the way, the veteran-turned-distiller-turned-politician has some ideas of what issues to combat.
“Every time I talk to the farmers or anybody there who owns a business, they say just have government stay the heck out of our way and they don’t say the word ‘heck’," explains Riggleman.
Riggleman is taking the seat of Congressman Tom Garrett - who says he chose not to run again as he confronts alcohol addiction. Garrett is also facing a Congressional ethics probe.
While Garrett has denied any wrongdoing, his successor hopes to start a fresh chapter for the district.
“Tom actually texted me the day I won and congratulated me. He has his life going on right now but he’s been very supportive," said Riggleman.
In the new year, the incoming Republican lawmaker will soon be in the minority, of a divided Congress, but he’s optimistic about what can get done.
“We are coming together as a positive voice for the American people," said Riggleman.
Riggleman says he’s turning his attention toward doing the people’s work in Congress. So, he says he’s divesting from his Nelson County distillery and turning over control of the business to his family.