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]

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 […]

Two senior Democratic senators might be retiring. Their districts are being redrawn accordingly.

By: - September 29, 2021

Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw and Sen. Janet Howell, who chairs the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee, haven’t said for sure they won’t run again in 2023. But the Virginia Redistricting Commission is drawing lines like they aren’t. The two influential Northern Virginia Democrats didn’t respond to requests from the Mercury this week asking for […]

Virginia doesn’t have licensed poker rooms. A state gambling board chairman opened one anyway.

By: - September 28, 2021

When a new Virginia law took effect last year letting charities run Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournaments, the charitable gaming industry, usually associated with fading bingo halls, was eager to get going.  Maybe a little too eager, according to lobbyist Matt Benka, who warned state officials on behalf of the now-dissolved Virginia Charitable Poker Association […]

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 […]