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.

In FOIA case, Va. Supreme Court draws ‘bright line’ upholding open meetings

By: - May 18, 2023

In a split opinion on transparency laws, the Supreme Court of Virginia on Thursday upheld a more expansive definition of what counts as a public meeting of government officials. The case, which centered on an impromptu meeting that took place in Prince William County to discuss local unrest in May 2020 after the police killing […]

OneVirginia2021 Executive Director Brian Cannon speaks at a news conference on Feb. 12 in support of a constitutional amendment on redistricting reform. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Though critiques persist, many agree Virginia’s new political maps are ‘quite balanced’

By: - May 17, 2023

When Brian Cannon and other advocates for reforming Virginia’s redistricting process were trying to come up with a name for their campaign to convince voters to support their cause, they settled on a generic but straightforward summary of what they were after. “The salient question you got asked was, ‘What are we actually telling Virginians […]

How redistricting reform is launching the Virginia General Assembly into a new era

By: - May 16, 2023

Since 2016, half of the 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates have turned over, bringing a wave of newcomers to an institution as old as American democracy itself. The churn will intensify this year, when three dozen House members are either resigning or running for a different office. The 2023 election cycle could […]

Virginia joins Republican states pulling out of multi-state voter list program

By: - May 12, 2023

Virginia is pulling out of a once-uncontroversial interstate program created to help states maintain accurate voter rolls that has recently drawn the ire of right-wing “election integrity” activists who see it as nefarious. In a letter sent Thursday to the head of the Washington-based Electronic Registration Information Center, Virginia Elections Commissioner Susan Beals said the […]

Buckingham Electoral Board fires Republican registrar after less than a month in the job

By: - May 9, 2023

DILLWYN – The Republican-appointed head of Buckingham County’s election office was fired in dramatic fashion Tuesday morning, one day after several residents showed up at a public meeting to say the turmoil and dysfunction surrounding the office were a growing embarrassment for their community. Interim registrar Luis Gutierrez, a self-described proud Republican who was hired […]

Youngkin says he believes ‘full investigation’ resolved State Police hiring error

By: - May 8, 2023

Gov. Glenn Youngkin said Monday that he’s confident the state’s watchdog agency conducted a “full investigation” into Virginia State Police hiring practices after a former trooper killed three people, despite the lack of an independent report by the Office of the State Inspector General laying out any findings or analysis. Youngkin had called for an […]

Buckingham registrar charges $200 ‘convenience fee’ in FOIA feud with county official

By: - May 5, 2023

The newly appointed interim leader of Buckingham County’s election office recently derided a Democratic county supervisor’s Freedom of Information Act requests as “nonsense” and “ridiculous” while tacking on what he called a $200 “convenience fee” to a bill for public records. Under state law, public officials are only allowed to charge for actual costs they […]

A parking lot outside a UVA dorm was filled with hundreds of state police cruisers on Wednesday afternoon. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Aug. 8, 2018)

Virginia’s probe into State Police hiring of ‘catfish cop’ ends with no investigative report

By: - May 4, 2023

After it was revealed Virginia State Police failed to fully check the mental health background of a former state trooper who killed three people in California last November while attempting to abduct a teenage girl he had chatted with online, Gov. Glenn Youngkin said he had requested a “full investigation” into the agency’s vetting process.  […]

After applying for funding tied to red flag law, Youngkin officials vague on plans to use it

By: - May 1, 2023

Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration last fall applied for federal funding meant to help Virginia continue to implement its red flag law, a gun control measure strongly opposed by many Republican lawmakers and gun rights activists. State officials say the roughly $5 million hasn’t been formally accepted and no decisions have been made about how it […]

In FOIA ruling, Va. Supreme Court upholds public’s right to be in meeting rooms

By: - April 27, 2023

Government bodies in Virginia cannot ask the public to sit in a separate room and observe their meetings through a video feed only, according to the Supreme Court of Virginia.  In a unanimous opinion released Thursday, the high court concluded the Suffolk City School Board violated the Virginia Freedom of Information Act in the summer […]

Youngkin signs bipartisan bill creating new committee on gambling addiction

By: - April 24, 2023

Much of the discussion surrounding Virginia’s push toward state-sanctioned gambling has focused on how much money it might bring in for the state and local governments eager for new tax revenue. But state policymakers are taking a new step this year to try to create a more coordinated approach to gambling addiction, a less publicized […]

How a 2020 bill might have prevented election drama in a Va. GOP Senate race

By: - April 19, 2023

On March 1, a local Republican official notified state officials the party had decided on a government-run primary to pick its nominee in a contested race for a Senate seat in Southside Virginia. About a week later, Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Rich Anderson told the state the notice from the lower-ranking official, Suffolk Republican […]