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]

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 […]

A mailer sent by the Democratic Party of Virginia and approved by Terry McAuliffe's campaign touted former President Donald Trump's support for Republican Glenn Youngkin. (Photo by Graham Moomaw)

After crushing loss, ‘gimmicky’ anti-Trump strategy draws criticism from Va. Democrats

By: - November 5, 2021

Virginia Democrats were so confident their anti-Trump strategy was going to work they spent their own money to promote Republican Glenn Youngkin’s biggest endorsement. To some who didn’t read closely, the fliers featuring all the nice things Trump said about Youngkin looked like pro-Youngkin messaging. But the fine print revealed it was an effort by […]

McAuliffe concedes defeat to Youngkin

By: - November 3, 2021

Democrat Terry McAuliffe conceded defeat to Republican Glenn Youngkin Wednesday morning, acknowledging there’s no path remaining for him to overtake Youngkin as vote-tallying continues in Virginia’s closely watched race for governor. “Congratulations to Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin on his victory,” McAuliffe said in a news release. “I hope Virginians will join me in wishing the best […]

Youngkin wins major upset as GOP roars back in Virginia

By: and - November 3, 2021

Republican Glenn Youngkin narrowly defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Tuesday’s election for governor, a major upset on a night that saw the Virginia GOP make sweeping gains after a nearly decade-long losing streak in statewide elections. Several news outlets called the race for Youngkin shortly after 12:30 a.m. Republicans Winsome Sears and Jason Miyares also […]

Cheat sheet: Youngkin and McAuliffe on the issues

By: , , and - November 1, 2021

As the race for governor comes to a close, here’s a look back at the stances Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin have staked out on major policy issues. Public education has become the dominant issue of Virginia’s gubernatorial race. But in the last weeks of the campaign, both candidates have focused less on […]

In tight Virginia governor’s race, policy takes backseat to culture wars

By: - October 28, 2021

Donald Hillard, a 49-year-old retired military veteran, says he identifies as a Republican and voted for George W. Bush twice. But he was never on board with the “madness” of former President Donald Trump. And it’s the lingering specter of Trumpism on the right that led him to vote for Virginia’s Democratic ticket this year.  […]

Va. Redistricting Commission implodes as Republicans reject compromise and Democrats walk out

By: - October 8, 2021

The Virginia Redistricting Commission’s first-ever attempt to draw fair political maps collapsed in spectacular fashion Friday, when frustrated Democrats walked out of a meeting after Republicans rebuffed their suggestions for reaching a compromise. The commission, which has been holding regular meetings for more than a month, never came close to reaching an agreement on final […]

Will Virginia delegates have to run again in 2022? A judge could decide soon.

By: - October 8, 2021

Democrats and Republicans are once again battling for control of the Virginia House of Delegates. But Paul Goldman, a Democratic lawyer and onetime aide to former Gov. Doug Wilder, says Virginia’s political class is ignoring an inconvenient truth: Technically speaking, the 2021 House elections are invalid. Because the November elections are being held on an […]

Youngkin, McAuliffe spar over election audits

By: - October 8, 2021

After calling for an audit of voting machines as part of his “election integrity” pitch, Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin now says he’s only expressing support for Virginia’s existing audit procedures. Though Youngkin has tried to cast doubt on whether his opponent, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, also supports those routine audits, it was McAuliffe himself […]

‘Things don’t look that bad’: Princeton experts offer roadmap for a Va. redistricting compromise

By: - October 5, 2021

The Virginia Redistricting Commission’s recent meetings have taken on a gloomy tone, with many predicting it’s all but certain to fail and leave it to the Supreme Court of Virginia to redraw the state’s political maps. But experts at the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, which is grading redistricting proposals from numerous states based on criteria like […]

‘We’re sort of stuck:’ Va. Redistricting Commission divided over race as deadline looms

By: - October 5, 2021

Last month, Greta Harris took a break from trying to corral the eight Republicans and eight Democrats on the Virginia Redistricting Commission to make an impassioned plea. It wasn’t too long ago, she said, that Black Virginians like her were systematically denied the right to vote. Some of the new political maps up for consideration […]

After poker ‘disaster,’ watchdog suggests stripping Va. Charitable Gaming Board of some powers

By: - September 30, 2021

A new report from Virginia’s watchdog agency suggests limiting the Virginia Charitable Gaming Board’s regulatory powers after concluding the board’s chairman failed to properly recuse himself from writing rules for Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournaments he stood to benefit from. The 59-page report, delivered to legislators and Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration Wednesday, identified major problems […]