The actress' mom lost to Republican candidate Denver Riggleman in Virginia's 5th Congressional District race

By Joelle Goldstein
November 07, 2018 01:14 AM
Credit: Olivia Wilde/Instagram

Olivia Wilde’s mom Leslie Cockburn has officially lost the Virginia congressional race.

As the midterm elections came to a close on Tuesday, it was revealed that Cockburn, who was running as a Democrat in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District race, had fallen to Republican candidate Denver Riggleman.

Prior to the results, Wilde, 34, shared a sweet message to her mother on Instagram. Alongside two black-and-white photos of the pair, the actress explained that she was proud of Cockburn regardless of the outcome.

“As we wait for the votes to come in, I just want to say I’m proud of you and I love you,” she wrote. “Thanks for showing us what’s possible. No matter what happens, you changed my world and healed my heart.”

Olivia Wilde hugging her mom Leslie Cockburn
| Credit: Olivia Wilde/Instagram

Once the results were officially announced, Wilde posted another Instagram in honor of her mother and acknowledged the loss but highlighted the silver lining in the situation.

“My incredible mother speaking to her supporters, thanking them for their tireless work, and urging them all to stay determined,” she captioned the post. “We may have lost this fight, but it’s only made us more resolute.”

“It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work,” she continued. “A lot of progress was made tonight and we need to keep the blue wave rolling! I’m sending all my love to everyone who worked on this campaign. You restored my faith in this country. ❤️”

Over the summer, the award-winning investigative journalist, 66, made headlines when she accused her opponent of having a Bigfoot erotica fetish and being aligned with a white supremacist.

“My opponent Denver Riggleman, running mate of Corey Stewart, was caught on camera campaigning with a white supremacist,” she wrote on Twitter in July. “Now he has been exposed as a devotee of Bigfoot erotica. This is not what we need on Capitol Hill.”

Along with the accusations, Cockburn posted a screenshot from Riggleman’s Instagram featuring a hairy, muscular Bigfoot with his genitals covered by a “censored” bar. The image, according to Riggleman’s own caption, was expected to be used as the cover art for his upcoming book.

In a separate tweet, Cockburn posted another screenshot to Twitter from the politician’s “erotica collection” — this time, with Riggleman’s face photoshopped over Bigfoot’s body that featured a long gray rectangle over his genitals.

The politician had captioned the photo: “My ‘buddies’ thought this pic was fitting for my birthday next week and to celebrate my new book release in a month or 2… ‘Mating Habits of Bigfoot and Why Women Want Him.'”

Denver Riggleman
Denver Riggleman
| Credit: Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

Riggleman, a former Air Force veteran and brewery owner who has written a self-published book called Bigfoot Exterminators, Inc.: The Partially Cautionary, Mostly True Tale of Monster Hunt 2006, but he said while he has an interest in bigfoots he denied it was asexual one in an interview with CNN.

In it, he claimed Cockburn’s suggestion that he has a “sexual interest in Bigfoot” was “absurd” and explained that his comments on the subject were rooted in an ongoing joke with former military friends.

His Instagram account settings have since been changed to private.

8th Annual Tribeca Film Festival - "American Casino" Premiere
Leslie Cockburn (left) and her daughter Olivia Wilde
| Credit: Mike Coppola/FilmMagic

Cockburn was inspired to run for Congress in light of the Charlottesville protests that happened in August 2017. She was campaigning for the seat vacated by Republican representative Thomas Garrett, who stepped away in May after announcing he was an alcoholic.

Just last month, Wilde — who has previously spoken out about her progressive views — told PEOPLE she was confident in her mother’s abilities to run and succeed in a traditionally conservative state.

“It’s a deep red district,” Wilde told PEOPLE at an event celebrating her collaboration with Dunkin’. “But she has already worked so hard on it that it’s now a neck-and-neck race between her and the Republican nominee.”

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“It’s a very conservative district, but there are a lot of people [there] who are more progressive in terms of thinking. But they’ve never had a representative who really stood up for those values,” Wilde continued. “And now my mom gets to be that for the people of the 5th district as a nominee and hopefully as their Congressperson!”

“She has a totally grassroots campaign,” Wilde said of her mother, “with 4,500 volunteers. They’ve knocked on 50,000 doors and she’s revisited counties 10 times. She’s so dedicated so it’s a really exciting time for the whole family.”