Author

Graham Moomaw

Graham Moomaw

A veteran Virginia politics reporter, Graham grew up in Hillsville and Lynchburg, graduating from James Madison University and earning a master's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. Before joining the Mercury in 2019, he spent six years at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, most of that time covering the governor's office, the General Assembly and state politics. He also covered city hall and politics at The Daily Progress in Charlottesville. Contact him at [email protected]

Va. Republicans won big under Democratic voting rules. They still want tougher laws.

By: - January 21, 2022

Virginia Republicans had a wildly successful election night in what had been a solid blue state in 2021, playing by Democratic voting rules the GOP spent two years arguing against. If Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s undisputed, high-turnout win meant Republicans might rethink their fears about the integrity of the state’s election system, it’s not showing in […]

Some Virginia delegates already going virtual under COVID-19 rules

By: - January 19, 2022

A handful of Virginia House of Delegates members have already been given permission to legislate remotely, a privilege granted only to members isolating due to a COVID-19 exposure or diagnosis. Anyone hoping to find out exactly who is dealing with COVID-19 issues has to tune in to the beginning of each day’s floor session, when […]

Bill to ban voting history mailers that ‘put people on blast’ dies in Va. Senate

By: - January 18, 2022

Virginia political operatives can continue to use voters’ personal information to try to shame them into casting a ballot, despite a lawmaker’s effort to ban a practice he described as invasive and inappropriate. The Democratic Party of Virginia angered some of its own voters last year with mailers, styled as “voter report cards,” that included […]

Republican anger, progressive concern combine in push to ban political spending by utilities

By: and - January 17, 2022

Legislative proposals to curb Virginia utilities’ political contributions may be gaining new traction in Richmond as old resentments over a 2015 utility rate freeze law combine with progressive Democrats’ skepticism of utility influence and Republican anger over Dominion Energy’s contributions to a shadowy PAC attacking Gov. Glenn Youngkin during the 2021 elections. Del. Lee Ware, […]

Why a Republican legislator wants to make it easier for ex-offenders to vote

By: - January 17, 2022

Mike Cherry says it’s his religious faith, and the Republican Party’s distant history of expanding voting rights to African Americans and women, that led him to sponsor legislation many wouldn’t expect to see from the modern-day GOP. A Richmond-area pastor just sworn into office, Cherry’s first legislative package includes a top priority for voting-rights groups: […]

Taking office as Virginia’s 74th governor, Youngkin promises ‘new and better day’

By: - January 15, 2022

With prayers, “USA” chants and a military flyover, Gov. Glenn Youngkin was officially sworn in Saturday as Virginia’s 74th chief executive, making him the first Republican to take the office in more than a decade. On a chilly afternoon in Richmond, with an approaching snowstorm threatening to become the first test for the new administration, […]

Party leaders talk ‘kitchen table’ priorities as divided government returns to General Assembly

By: - January 12, 2022

Divided government returned to Richmond Wednesday as the 2022 General Assembly session began with House Republicans and Senate Democrats laying out different visions for what they want to do over the next 60 days. Assuming power after winning back a GOP majority in last year’s elections, new House Speaker Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, touched on many […]

Northam OKs emergency order to help hospitals handle COVID-19 spike

By: - January 10, 2022

In his final week in office, Gov. Ralph Northam is approving a limited emergency order meant to give hospitals and public-health agencies more resources to respond to surging COVID-19 hospitalizations. In a news release Monday, the governor’s office said the 30-day order would “expand the number of available hospital beds, increase staffing capacity at hospitals […]

Virginia officials weigh precision vs. speed in reporting election results

By: - January 10, 2022

Virginia is moving closer to joining the dozens of other states that track absentee votes down to the neighborhood level, a change that would give researchers, news outlets and campaigns better insight into local election data and voting trends. But some officials have warned that, if implemented the wrong way, it could mean slower results […]

Virginia can’t undo Equal Rights Amendment approval, outgoing AG says

By: - January 7, 2022

Departing Attorney General Mark Herring says Virginia can’t undo its 2020 ratification of the federal Equal Rights Amendment, the stalled gender-equality measure that inspired a major activist push at the statehouse. It’s unclear how eager Republicans might be to reverse the Virginia General Assembly’s vote, because the amendment still hasn’t been recognized at the federal […]

Virginia officials apologize to stranded I-95 motorists, defend storm prep amid criticism

By: - January 4, 2022

A spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation offered an apology Tuesday to the countless people stranded overnight on Interstate 95 during Monday’s snowstorm. But officials involved in the emergency response insisted there was little they could have done differently to prevent the crisis on a heavily-travelled, 40-mile stretch of highway in Northern Virginia. “We […]

Virginia State Capitol

Power shift clouds efforts to scrap gay-marriage ban, expand felon voting rights

By: - November 8, 2021

When Virginia Democrats wrapped up the 2021 General Assembly session, there were at least two big pieces of unfinished business. Because constitutional amendments need to pass two years in a row before being put to voters, Republicans’ big wins Tuesday raise new doubts about efforts to get rid of Virginia’s now-defunct ban on same-sex marriage […]