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]

Hundreds of anti-abortion demonstrators marched near the Capitol in Richmond Friday as part of the third annual March for Life. (Photo by Graham Moomaw)

As Youngkin rejects Texas-style ban, GOP ticket steers clear of anti-abortion rally in Richmond

By: and - September 18, 2021

If it didn’t count as a banned weapon, she would have brought her sledgehammer, anti-abortion activist Victoria Cobb told the March for Life crowd Friday from the steps of the Virginia Capitol.  The hammer, she said, is a symbol of what the pro-life movement hopes to do to former Gov. Terry McAulffe’s “brick wall” for […]

At first debate, McAuliffe walks back support for ending qualified immunity for police

By: - September 16, 2021

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe backed away from his support for ending qualified immunity for police Thursday during his first debate with Republican Glenn Youngkin, reversing a stance he took during the Democratic primary. McAuliffe’s campaign previously said he supported ending qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that can shield police officers from civil rights lawsuits unless […]

Va. Redistricting Commission approves neutrality rule, deadlocks on use of race

By: - September 15, 2021

The Virginia Redistricting Commission voted Wednesday to formally instruct its map-drawers not to look at political data or information showing where incumbents live as they draw new General Assembly and congressional districts. The bipartisan panel’s unanimous vote represents a formal commitment to the fairer process voters envisioned when they approved the commission last year. It’s […]

Co-chairs Greta Harris (left) and Mackenzie Babichenko (right) preside over an Aug. 3 meeting of the Virginia Redistricting Commission. (Photo by Ned Oliver)

Redistricting Commission drops region-by-region approach, expects statewide maps Sept. 20

By: - September 13, 2021

After giving the public a glimpse of draft maps for Northern Virginia, the new Virginia Redistricting Commission is dropping its region-by-region approach in favor of statewide proposals expected to be unveiled next week. The commission’s co-chairs announced the procedural change over the weekend and said at a meeting Monday that the chief concern is a […]

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Campaign funds can be used for child care, Virginia AG says

By: - September 10, 2021

Attorney General Mark Herring says political candidates in Virginia can use campaign funds to pay campaign-related child care expenses, an opinion that puts the state in alignment with federal election rules but has little immediate impact due to the state’s anything-goes campaign finance system. “Virginia’s campaign finance statutes allow for the use of campaign funds […]

Incumbent protection remains flashpoint as Virginia senator tries to draw his own district lines

By: - September 9, 2021

Stopping legislators from drawing their own districts was the main rallying cry behind the new Virginia Redistricting Commission voters approved last year. But one legislator is trying to do just that in full public view from his perch on the commission. A week after noting a consultant-drawn draft map would push him out of his […]

Virginia’s Redistricting Commission has its first draft maps. They look… normal?

By: - September 2, 2021

The Virginia Redistricting Commission got its first look at draft General Assembly maps Thursday as consultants delivered proposals for part of Northern Virginia with districts that look far more normally shaped than the ones that exist now. A pair of consultants drew their proposed House of Delegates and Senate districts from scratch, following the guidance […]

Virginia maps out optional per-mile road fee program for 2022 launch

By: - September 2, 2021

A year out from Virginia’s planned launch of an opt-in system that would charge drivers of electric and fuel-efficient vehicles based on how many miles they travel instead of a higher fixed fee, a state work group is hammering out more details on how the program could work. State officials are projecting almost 975,000 vehicles […]

Virginia Mercury

Hurricane Ida brings destruction to Buchanan and more Virginia headlines

By: - September 1, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • More than twenty homes were destroyed in Southwest Virginia’s Buchanan County as the remnants of Hurricane Ida caused flooding and mudslides.—WJHL • The storm also led to tornado warnings near Blacksburg, but didn’t appear to cause severe damage in the area.—Roanoke Times • Gov. Ralph […]

Virginians don’t have to show ID to vote anymore. Data shows almost everyone still does.

By: - August 23, 2021

Virginia’s laws have changed in many ways to make voting easier, but all voters are still asked to verify who they are when they go to the polls. For most people, that means pulling out a driver’s license just like they did before the state changed last year to no longer require photo IDs. For […]

Va. Redistricting Commission votes to allow use of political data, reject university map-drawers

By: - August 17, 2021

The most revealing moment of the Virginia Redistricting Commission’s meeting Tuesday may have come during a bathroom break. With microphones still on and broadcasting to a live stream, Sen. George Barker, D-Fairfax, huddled with Democratic citizen commissioner Brandon Hutchins, who seemed concerned the commission was setting itself up for public blowback by not living up […]

Co-chairs Greta Harris (left) and Mackenzie Babichenko (right) preside over an Aug. 3 meeting of the Virginia Redistricting Commission. (Photo by Ned Oliver)

Tensions rise as Va. Redistricting Commission begins map-drawing sprint

By: - August 16, 2021

As the new Virginia Redistricting Commission prepares to start drawing new legislative and congressional maps, an increasingly political tone to its deliberations has some members openly speculating about whether the bipartisan body will be able to complete its job. The 16-member commission met for three hours Monday afternoon to discuss several issues it’s planning to […]