RJC plays major role in Virginia race, raising hefty sum for Cockburn opponent

By Jackson Richman
November 8, 2018

Anti-Israel Democratic congressional candidate Leslie Cockburn “galvanized the pro-Israel community to raise around $1 million for the [Denver] Riggleman campaign,” a source in the pro-Israel community told JNS.

Cockburn lost on Tuesday night to Riggleman, a Republican who won with 56.3 percent of the vote in Virginia’s 5th congressional district, replacing the retiring Republican Tom Garrett.

Cockburn and her husband Andrew’s book, Dangerous Liaisons: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship, “is largely dedicated to Israel-bashing for its own sake. Its first message is that, win or lose, smart or dumb, right or wrong, suave or boorish, Israelis are a menace. The second is that the Israeli-American connection is somewhere behind just about everything that ails us,” according to a New York Times review.

The Republican Jewish Coalition played a major role, as the Riggleman campaign was one of the largest recipients from the RJC board of directors and leadership committee, the organization told JNS.

RJC spokesperson Neil Strauss said that between $500,000 and $600,000 was raised for Riggleman by a “loose functional of pro-Israel donors,” with Cockburn’s anti-Israel past a major factor. Riggleman was also  “a great candidate” and “the perfect storm” in terms of qualifications, such as having served in the U.S. Air Force, noted Strauss.

Additionally, as JNS previously reported, RJC purchased $300,000 of television time to run an attack ad against Cockburn.

Overall, RJC fundraised $3 million for Republicans during the 2018 cycle.

Another major pro-Israel group that donated to the campaign was NorPAC with $11,270.

Regarding what were the other source or sources of funding for the $1 million from the pro-Israel community, the Riggleman campaign declined to confirm the figure other than to acknowledge it received donations from the pro-Israel community.


This article appeared on the Jewish News Syndicate web site on November 8, 2018.