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]


Done right, legal pot could bring social equity and opportunity to Virginia

By: - April 5, 2021

Virginia owes much to a smokable weed. Look no farther than the ceiling of the state Capitol Rotunda to see painted representations of garlands of the golden-brown leaf that was essential to Virginia’s founding 400 years ago. The Virginia Company of London, chartered as a joint stock company, encountered lean times in the early years […]


As we vaccinate our way out of the pandemic, old horrors have returned as part of the ‘new normal’

By: - March 29, 2021

I got my second and final dose of COVID-19 vaccine last week, my ticket back to normal. I’d still be among the unprotected if not for a wonderful and computer-savvy wife who kept hitting “refresh” on the CVS website to connect me with the Moderna vaccine 2½-hours away from Richmond. The trip to get it […]


Cuomo: Resign or stay put? In Virginia, we’ve been there, done that.

By: - March 22, 2021

Andrew Cuomo should have known they’d come for him. New York’s Democratic governor — often scolding and demeaning; at times a bully — had made plenty of enemies over the years. He appeared almost daily on cable news, painting a picture of a decisive, effective leader in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. It […]


After 12 years in the wilderness, Virginia GOP’s miscues could torpedo a 2021 comeback

By: - March 15, 2021

Virginia’s Republicans could find opportunities in this year’s elections to end a dozen years in the wilderness if not for their own dysfunction. In Richmond, a Democratic administration is trying to extricate itself from the quicksand of a Parole Board scandal in which inmates serving life terms for murder were freed without proper notice or […]

State GOP to choose statewide slate in May 8 convention held from 37 locations

By: - March 12, 2021

The Republican Party of Virginia’s governing body voted Friday to choose its nominee for governor and two other statewide offices in a May 8 convention spread out at 37 sites across the commonwealth. RPV’s State Central Committee, meeting via videoconference, overwhelmingly adopted a convention call that apportions a different number of sites for each of […]


‘The check’s in the mail!’ But that doesn’t mean it will arrive this week. Or this month.

By: - March 8, 2021

“The check’s in the mail, I tell you!” Is there anyone who hasn’t either heard or used that line — probably both? It’s right up there with “the dog ate my homework” in the Lame Excuses Hall of Shame. Back in the day, eyes would roll, often accompanied by a dismissive groan because if the […]


Latest disclosures on Parole Board are a lasting malignancy on Northam’s roller-coaster tenure

By: - March 1, 2021

Throughout Gov. Ralph Northam’s tumultuous term as Virginia’s 73rd governor, he has benefited during his lowest moments by the perception that while he might be a bit bumbling and slow on the draw, his heart was in the right place. Hating on the amiable 61-year-old country doctor with a disarming Eastern Shore drawl just seemed […]


Emily’s Tale: Where government programs fail, humanity must step up

By: - February 22, 2021

“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” – President John F. Kennedy, Jan. 20, 1961. Pardon me while I irritate some progressives. Government spending and programs are not the only answer to some of the nation’s most persistent needs. That’s not to say we shouldn’t […]


Censuring Chase likely deepened a GOP split and fueled her base, but it was the right thing to do

By: - February 8, 2021

State Sen. Amanda Chase is a no-win proposition for the Republican Party of Virginia. That was never clearer than late last month when the Senate of Virginia undertook the rare and largely symbolic step of officially censuring her. Her pugnacious antics, incendiary rhetoric, her trading in conspiracy theories and her Trumpist nationalism have come to […]


‘Don’t tell me what you think. Tell me what you know.’ Media bias, real and perceived, is a threat.

By: - February 1, 2021

The past few years have been a real crucible for this country, and no institution has faced more challenges (from within and from without) than the big, brawling, chaotic and cutthroat-competitive entity that we know by the overbroad shorthand “news media.” I grew up a news junkie, enraptured by the sonorous, dispassionate delivery of the […]


The Trump next time

By: - January 25, 2021

Before we Americans undertake gymnastic contortions patting ourselves on the back for heading off an autocratic insurrection that would have nullified the presidential election, perhaps we should take a sobering look at just how lucky we were. Yes, democracy, the rule of law and the Constitution of the United States ultimately prevailed over Trump’s sustained, […]


Voters might not like Dr. Northam’s chill-pill prescription for Virginians awaiting vaccines

By: - January 18, 2021

Here we go again, Virginia, trailing the pack at yet another critical turn in combating the global coronavirus pandemic — the rollout of the lifesaving vaccine that could finally break the back of COVID-19. And if you’re a Democrat in Virginia, particularly one who’s seeking statewide office this fall, this isn’t what you had hoped […]