Leslie Cockburn (D-VA-05)

Former journalist Leslie Cockburn is running to be the next Representative from Virginia’s 5th District. While the district has been represented by Republicans since 2010, it is also an open seat.

Background and Achievements

Prior to her bid for Congress, Leslie had a 35-year career in journalism, where she won two Emmys among numerous other journalistic honors. The majority of her career was dedicated to exposing the lies in Washington and Wall Street and war coverage. Leslie knows what the public wants to hear, and that is honesty. Since the late 1990s, Leslie has lived in Rappahannock County, Virginia, an area which has more cows than people. Leslie is a dedicated Virginian and knows that Rappahannock, among other counties, needs to have support from Congress to deal with the hideous income disparity that exists in rural Virginia. She will be an honest feminist fighting for justice for all Virginians if elected.

Positions on Key Issues

  • Supporter of equal pay for equal work
  • Supporter of ending the Domestic Gag Rule
  • Supporter of the Affordable Care Act and Medicare expansion
  • Supporter of criminal justice reform and ending the “school-to-prison-pipeline”
  • Supporter of public education
  • Supporter of environmental protection and climate change legislation

Prospects & Opponents

After allegations of abuse of power by his staff, the current representative from Virginia’s 5th, Thomas Garrett, announced he would not run for re-election despite this being his first term in Congress. Garrett, whose aides told Politico that he would force them to do odd jobs for him personally, later admitted he was an alcoholic and would not run for re-election. Following this, The Cook Political Report changed the district from being “likely Republican” to “lean Republican.” If there is ever a year to win this district, it is now. Leslie is running against Denver Riggleman, a former Air Force intelligence officer. Leslie’s strong opposition to Trump will help her; Charlottesville, a hub for activism following the racist white supremacist rally there, is in this district.


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