Bob Lewis

Bob Lewis

Bob Lewis covered Virginia government and politics for 20 years for The Associated Press. Now retired from a public relations career at McGuireWoods, he is a columnist for the Virginia Mercury. He can be reached at [email protected]


It’s important to know everything that led to slayings of UVA football players

By: - November 18, 2022

This isn’t another anti-gun tirade, though I have every reason and urge to launch into one after Sunday’s cold-blooded killings of three University of Virginia football players. Suffice it to say more convincing voices than mine have made those arguments better and more abundantly than I ever could, sadly to little discernible effect. Guns still […]


Maybe it’s not just ‘the economy, stupid’: winners and losers from the 2022 midterms

By: - November 11, 2022

Elections have a clarifying, refreshing effect. Whether at the local, state or national level, an election authoritatively settles things. A nation whipsawed and left on edge for months on end at last gets relief from a hyperventilating, self-contradicting media, venomous political ads, and pundits who know nothing and race to the nearest microphone to discuss […]

A brief look at Virginia’s midterm outcomes since 1960

By: - November 9, 2022

1966 – As LBJ and Democrats’ historic grip on the South slips, the GOP gains two of Virginia’s 10 House seats, cutting Dems’ majority from 8-2 to 6-4 and beginning a multiyear upward trajectory for Republicans.  1970 – A one-seat gain gives the GOP its first delegation majority (6-4) since Reconstruction. It lasts 16 years.  […]


By now, who doesn’t expect the unexpected from Doug Wilder?

By: - November 7, 2022

It amuses new generations of Virginians who see the commonwealth’s Democratic 66th governor, L. Douglas Wilder, get all lovey-dovey with the Republican 74th governor, Glenn Youngkin. Perhaps also perplexing: As Wilder warms to Youngkin, he has become an unabashed critic of fellow Democrat Levar Stoney, who holds Wilder’s old job as mayor of Richmond and […]


A study says Virginians rank third nationally in political engagement. We’ll see in 8 days.

By: - October 31, 2022

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – This is a city accustomed to big league politics. The legacy of former Arkansas Gov.-turned-President Bill Clinton is ubiquitous: libraries, schools, streets bearing his name. This year, Arkansas has major statewide elections, including those for a U.S. Senate seat and governor. Yard signs sprout like dandelions from almost every parcel of […]


With Republicans like these, who needs Democrats?

By: - October 17, 2022

Thou shalt speak no ill of a fellow Republican.—President Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment You expect Republicans to go after Democrats. And vice versa. It’s what they do. Like a mongoose and a cobra. Or the Red Sox and the Yankees. They don’t like each other. It’s the natural order of things. But the 2023 state […]


Dominion wants offshore wind profits, but performance metrics? Not so much.

By: - October 10, 2022

Imagine you’re going into a pitch meeting to outline a proposal that could put your prospective client years ahead in its industry and be worth millions in consulting and development fees for your own firm. It’s a can’t miss project, you tell the client. Once it’s up and running, you can enjoy not only market […]


Why not Virginia? An open letter to Florida, Texas guvs on immigrant junkets

By: - October 3, 2022

October 3, 2022 Richmond, Virginia Dear Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida, I have watched with keen interest your kind efforts to provide free transportation for new immigrants to visit some of our nation’s grand cities. I recall the time in my childhood when I first saw the gleaming towers of […]


Dr. Petrolove or: How I learned to stop worrying and love fossil fuels

By: - September 26, 2022

We always knew it would come to this. That it would start … out there. Out on the Left Coast where all the loonies live: California, the land of surfboards and wildfires; of Google, Apple and Microsoft; of swimming pools and movie stars. And godless liberals. That’s the sort of place where wild-eyed, un-American ideas […]


Miyares plays ‘election integrity’ politics to romance the MAGA base

By: - September 20, 2022

Politicians will play politics. And there’s nothing wrong with that, generally. The problem comes when the malignant notion takes hold that an overwhelmingly clean, fair process of administering elections is fair game for a partisan disinformation campaign to subvert public faith in the process and impose a corrupt system under one-party control. The MAGA wing […]

Image of banned books

Obscenity suit exposed an outdated law and a society too reliant on government to raise kids

By: - September 6, 2022

Last week, a court in Virginia Beach was asked to find two books depicting sexual activity obscene and ban their sale at a Barnes & Noble store to people younger than age 18. The court declined, largely sidestepping the question of whether the content was legally obscene and instead deconstructing the anachronistic state obscenity law […]


Virginia heads into the fall as a barometer for U.S. House control

By: - August 29, 2022

If you are determined to stay awake until you know which political party will control the U.S. House of Representatives next year, you will be sleepless throughout the long night of Nov. 8 and possibly past dawn on Nov. 9. Or, if you want a pretty good idea how things are going to go, just […]