Rigell, who is not seeking reelection after three terms, has been critical of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. His February letter made it clear that he considered Trump unfit for the presidency and that he would not support him:
Trump is a bully, unworthy of our nomination. My love for our country eclipses my loyalty to our party, and to live with a clear conscience I will not support a nominee so lacking in the judgement, temperament and character needed to be our nation’s commander-in-chief. Accordingly, if left with no alternative, I will not support Trump in the general election should he become our Republican nominee.
Last Friday, Rigell made good on that promise and endorsed Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. The news spread quickly, as Rigell became just the second sitting Republican congressman to endorse someone other than Trump.
Although he didn’t have to, Rigell officially resigned from the Republican Party of Virginia Beach.
The Republican Party of Virginia Beach’s bylaws say any member who endorses or gives a donation to a candidate that isn’t the Republican nominee is considered to have resigned from the local chapter.
Have Republicans lost Rigell for good? Maybe.
Mr. Rigell said he still considered himself a Republican. But that would change, he said, if the Republican Party were to become synonymous with Mr. Trump and his ideas in a lasting way.
“Then I’m done,” Mr. Rigell said, “and I’ll be an independent.”
While Scott and I don’t agree on a lot, it says something about his character that he is willing to put country before party.
Now a little friendly advice, Scott: it’s OK to say you are supporting Johnson, but when you get in that voting booth, cast your vote for Hillary 😀