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.

Judge orders Gloucester School Board to release audio of improper closed session

By: - June 8, 2023

The Gloucester County School Board violated transparency laws when it held a closed meeting in 2021 to discuss “personnel matters” but instead talked about conflicts between board members, according to a local judge who ordered the county to pay $4,000 in legal fees and took the rare step of fining the board $250. School Board […]

Questions swirl at ABC over store thefts and high-ranking officials being put on leave

By: , and - June 7, 2023

Embezzlement occurred at seven stores operated by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority over the last year, according to ABC officials, after employees exploited a vulnerability in the cash register system that was flagged by an internal audit report in September 2022.  The liquor authority’s leadership insists that audit report went undetected by senior officials […]

Bribery conviction upheld for Va. man who offered town $500 to back gaming machines

By: - June 7, 2023

The Virginia Court of Appeals upheld a bribery conviction Tuesday for a Southside Virginia convenience store operator who offered the town of La Crosse a $500 monthly donation in exchange for officials’ support for gaming machines at his business. Businessman Mamdoh Abouemara was appealing his 2021 guilty conviction in Mecklenburg County, arguing prosecutors hadn’t sufficiently […]

How Virginia is spending new state funding to prevent gun violence

By: - June 5, 2023

The office of Attorney General Jason Miyares plans to hire six prosecutors and group violence intervention coordinators with the $2.6 million in grant funding it received to try to reduce gun crime. Another $5 million will go toward the extension of a hospital-based violence intervention program meant to help people escape life circumstances that led […]

After Buckingham, more Virginia registrars find themselves on chopping block

By: - June 5, 2023

BURKEVILLE – In a sweltering community meeting room, William H. Clarke told his fellow Nottoway County residents calling people racist is a “dangerous thing” that shouldn’t be done lightly. But some of the pushback to Nottoway’s first Black registrar, he said, seems racist. “If you get rid of this man, get rid of him on […]

Youngkin deploys 100 Virginia National Guard troops for border enforcement in Texas

By: - May 31, 2023

Gov. Glenn Youngkin is sending 100 Virginia National Guard troops and 21 support personnel to help with border security in Texas, according to a Wednesday announcement from Youngkin’s office. The governor’s office portrayed the move as stepping up to help with an issue the federal government has failed to address, but Virginia Democrats criticized it […]

Virginia ABC officials say they’ve ‘automated’ liquor lotteries to prevent future errors

By: - May 31, 2023

Virginia liquor officials said they’re taking steps to automate the random lottery process for rare bottles after an outcry from bourbon enthusiasts who say the state bungled a recent lottery and allowed some entrants to win multiple bottles despite steep odds of that outcome occurring naturally. The leadership of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority […]

Former Virginia elections commissioner Chris Piper named new head of VPAP

By: - May 24, 2023

Chris Piper, a former Virginia elections commissioner with a long resume in state government, will be the next executive director of the Virginia Public Access Project, the nonprofit organization widely seen as an invaluable source of free information about Virginia politics. Piper, who served as the state’s top election administrator from 2018 to 2022, will […]

Lawyer who co-led Virginia’s ‘election integrity unit’ resigns from AG’s office

By: - May 23, 2023

Joshua Lief, a lawyer who helped oversee the election integrity unit created by Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares, resigned from the office earlier this month, according to a Miyares spokeswoman. Lief resigned May 9 to “pursue other opportunities,” Miyares spokeswoman Victoria LaCivita said Tuesday. “The Election Integrity Unit remains a part of the Government Operations […]

A Republican lawmaker delivered doughnuts to teachers. Then came a political food fight

By: - May 23, 2023

Earlier this month, Virginia Del. Amanda Batten, R-James City, bought almost 1,000 doughnuts and set out to give them to public school teachers working in her Williamsburg-area district. She marked the occasion with a Facebook post showing her carrying armfuls of doughnut boxes in a multi-school delivery that she said amounted to 996 doughnuts, or […]

Buckingham GOP withdraws fired registrar’s nomination for elections board

By: - May 22, 2023

The leader of the Buckingham County Republican Committee has withdrawn the county’s recently fired interim registrar and his wife from the party’s list of three nominees for a vacant Republican position on the local elections board, a move that prompted a local judge to postpone an upcoming hearing on the matter. In an email to […]

Buckingham GOP nominates recently fired registrar for seat on elections board

By: - May 19, 2023

The chairwoman of the Buckingham County Republican Committee nominated the county’s recently fired interim registrar for a vacant Republican seat on the same election oversight board that terminated him last week for allegedly misrepresenting his job history. The move is the latest surprising twist for a local election office thrown into dysfunction by right-wing conspiracy […]