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]

The Va. House GOP came up with a spending plan. It lasted 2 minutes.

By: and - August 3, 2021

Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates offered their own proposal Tuesday for how to spend billions in federal rescue funds, floating a plan they said would ban door-to-door vaccination campaigns, give $5,000 bonuses to every police officer in the state and limit how students are taught about race and discrimination. After a two-minute floor […]

Libertarian vs. Liberation creates third-party conundrum on Virginia ballots

By: - August 3, 2021

Most Virginia voters go for candidates with a “D” or “R” next to their name, but who should have dibs on the “L?” This year, election officials preparing November’s ballots were faced with the dilemma of how to differentiate the Libertarian Party from the Liberation Party, the newly formed initiative from gubernatorial candidate and social […]

Virginia legislators are divvying up $4.3B in federal aid. Here’s what’s in the plan.

By: - August 2, 2021

Democrats are calling it a rare chance to make strategic spending moves that will shape Virginia’s future for years to come, an opportunity to devote big dollars to some of the state’s most pressing problems. Republicans see an exercise in one-party rule, with only Democratic leaders deciding what the top issues are and what to […]

Anemic start for Virginia’s campaign finance study could delay final report

By: - July 29, 2021

As both political parties flood supporters with desperate-sounding pleas for money to win the 2021 elections, an effort to study campaign finance reform in Virginia is off to a decidedly less urgent start. A joint General Assembly subcommittee approved in February to study whether Virginia needs stricter laws on money in politics still hasn’t held […]

Democratic leaders’ limits on special session debate draw GOP pushback

By: - July 27, 2021

A decision by Democratic leaders to impose broad restrictions on the Virginia General Assembly’s upcoming special session is drawing criticism from Republicans who say the rules will sharply limit meaningful debate on how the state should spend $4.3 billion in federal pandemic relief money. In a memo earlier this month, House Appropriations Chairman Luke Torian, […]

‘Epidemic’ of gun violence prompts call for Virginia to use federal dollars to curb shootings

By: - July 19, 2021

For years, Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone has been trying to gather data on how firearms flow from gun-store shelves to crime scenes in his city’s high-poverty neighborhoods. Though experts and politicians have floated multiple theories about what’s driving an uptick in violence in Virginia and the rest of the country, Boone says guns are […]

Virginia Republicans have been warning Democratic control was bad for business. CNBC disagrees.

By: and - July 13, 2021

After Democrats took control of the General Assembly in 2020, a common refrain emerged among Republicans who opposed legislation that raised the minimum wage and added new anti-discrimination protections for employees. “The Democrat majority has done much to diminish Virginia’s reputation for being America’s ‘best state for business,’” said Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment, R-James […]

Virginia Bar Association cancels debate after Youngkin chooses to skip it

By: - July 12, 2021

The Virginia Bar Association has cancelled its planned gubernatorial debate after Republican Glenn Youngkin broke with recent tradition by skipping what is usually the first face-to-face matchup of the general election. In a statement Monday, the Bar Association said the debate has been removed from the itinerary for its annual summer meeting later this month […]

Virginia State Capitol

Va. House candidate blocked from ballot after election official’s mistake

By: - July 12, 2021

As a self-described “progressive populist” who already ran for the General Assembly three times as a Green Party candidate or independent, Jeff Staples knows he probably wouldn’t win even if state officials let him on the ballot. But he remains baffled as to why the State Board of Elections refused to do so despite proof the […]

Helicopters, cash payments and a new public health lab: How state agencies propose spending Virginia’s rescue fund money

By: , , and - July 8, 2021

Virginia has $4.3 billion in federal aid to spend and no shortage of ideas. State agencies hoping to tap into American Rescue Plan funds have submitted wish lists that top more than $18 billion, floating proposals ranging from new helicopters for Virginia State Police to $1,000 cash payments for essential workers.  Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration […]

The Virginia Redistricting Commission holds its first in-person meeting Tuesday. (Virginia Mercury)

The Va. Redistricting Commission is down one GOP citizen member. Here’s how the vacancy will be filled.

By: - July 6, 2021

A former coal mining executive from Bristol is resigning from the Virginia Redistricting Commission, leaving the bipartisan body temporarily down one Republican citizen and forcing the politically delicate body to fill a vacancy for the first time. The resignation of Marvin W. Gilliam Jr., a Wise native whose family-owned coal company was acquired by Massey […]

Virginia Mercury

NFL fines Washington Football Team, Lucas challenges recall effort, Virginians flock to marijuana seed giveaways, and more headlines

By: - July 2, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • The NFL fined the Washington Football Team $10 million “for fostering a workplace culture where sexual harassment, bullying and intimidation were commonplace.” Without suspending team owner Dan Snyder, the league announced that his wife, Tanya, will run things for several months.—Washington Post • Lawyers […]