Capitol Hill candidates enter home stretch

Republican John Warner endorses Cockburn; Trump endorses Riggleman

The final hours of political stumping are upon us, as U.S. House and Senate candidates vying to represent Rappahannock County pull out all the stops ahead of Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6th.

Even last Sunday, which found 5th district Democratic congressional candidate Leslie Cockburn of Rappahannock County starting her day in The Plains, where she secured the support of not one but two Warners — Democratic Sen. Mark Warner and former Republican Sen. John Warner — and finishing it in Slate Mills, where former Vermont governor and presidential hopeful Howard Dean addressed local Democrats by speakerphone.

“Both Senators Warner were there to support me, so we had Mark and John. It was a bi-partisan event,” Cockburn told the Slate Mills audience. “That’s very important because . . . I find there are a lot of Republicans in the district who are coming our way.”

Republican congressional candidate Denver Riggleman, meanwhile, received full endorsements this week from President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, the latter praising the Afton business owner as a “principled conservative” who is “committed to working with” the White House.

As these endorsements came in, new ratings from University of Virginia political forecaster Larry Sabato shift the 5th district race from leaning Republican to a “toss-up,” while other political observers put the pair “neck-and-neck” going into the homestretch.

Also on the ballot: U.S. Senate candidates who include incumbent Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, Republican Corey Stewart, and Libertarian Matt Waters. Kaine this past week continued to enjoy a double-digit lead in several polls.

Voters who live in the town of Washington will also select a new mayor, treasurer and town council. (See candidate profiles on Page 6).

Rappahannock voters who number in the thousands and who haven’t already cast early ballots will head to six local polling stations from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6th.

Also note that the final opportunity to vote in-person absentee in Rappahannock County is this Saturday, Nov. 3rd, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the county election office on Courthouse Row in Washington.

Cockburn told supporters Sunday evening that she will begin Election Day voting in Rappahannock County, then travel “all over” the sprawling district that stretches from the North Carolina border practically to Maryland, arriving in Danville Tuesday afternoon, and then on to Charlottesville that evening to watch the election returns from Three Notch’d Craft Kitchen & Brewery at 520 2nd St. SE.

After his final day of campaigning across the district, Riggleman’s Election Night party will be held at Blue Mountain Brewery in Nelson County, 9519 Critzers Shop Rd., in Afton, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Early election results will be posted online Tuesday evening, Nov. 6, at Complete election coverage will appear in next Thursday’s edition of this newspaper.

About John McCaslin 469 Articles
John McCaslin is the editor of the Rappahannock News. Email him at