By now, you’ve almost certainly heard of the strange inclusion of the topic of Bigfoot in the increasingly surreal Virginia congressional race.
If not, here’s a quick recap: a GOP candidate for a House seat in said state’s fifth district turned out to have a somewhat old, nude sketch of the imaginary beast on his Instagram feed. Others found it, and his Democrat opponent Leslie Cockburn, a fellow candidate and a veteran investigative journalist, made it part of the official electoral battle there. She mused that a “devotee of Bigfoot erotica” – along with worrying political links that we'll touch on later – is not what’s needed in the halls of power.
This has spawned a huge range of jokes and a similar set of headlines, from “Virginia House candidate says there’s nothing sexual about his interest in Bigfoot” to “’Bigfoot erotica’ row turns Virginia congressional race ugly”.
BBC News reports that Denver Riggleman, the GOP congressional candidate at the center of this mockery, has denied he was writing a book about Bigfoot copulation.
This rumor appeared to come from an interview he gave with a conservative outlet, in which he joked he was writing a book named “The Mating Habits of Bigfoot and Why Women Want Him”. Vox notes that he has already penned a (non-erotic) book about Bigfoot back in 2006.
Addressing the scandal in a recent interview posted to YouTube, Riggleman makes light of the increasingly odd situation, and talks about the possibility of Bigfoot existing. Gizmodo highlights that he somehow uses this interview to show how dedicated he is to the principles of free speech.
There is a chance this is just a terribly framed joke on Riggleman’s part that’s spiraled out of control. As his social media accounts, pre-campaigning, are now set to private, the original context in which the Bigfoot sketch (and other related posts) appeared is difficult to ascertain.