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 Mercury

Former Liberty student recounts sexual encounter with Becki Falwell, Va. Senate eliminates mandatory minimums for assaults on officers, COVID-19 on campus, and more headlines

By: - August 28, 2020

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • Del. Sam Rasoul, a Roanoke Democrat and the first Muslim to serve in the General Assembly, says he’s considering a run for lieutenant governor next year. “2020 has thrown everything at us,” he said. “As we heal in 2021, I believe we can […]

Virginia Mercury

Former Washington NFL team employees say women were ‘marginalized,’ FEMA approves Va. unemployment benefits, ‘Marcus Alert’ runs into trouble, and more headlines

By: - August 27, 2020

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • A former employee of the Washington NFL team says he was told to make a video featuring “lewd outtakes” from a cheerleader photo shoot, the latest example of what many ex-staffers say is “an organization in which women say they have been marginalized, […]

Va. Senate committee kills bill to ban police-free ‘CHOP’ zones

By: - August 26, 2020

A Republican-sponsored bill to ban Seattle-style police-free zones failed Wednesday in a Virginia Senate committee after one Democrat called it “the most useless piece of legislation I’ve ever seen.” Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin, the legislation’s sponsor, acknowledged the bill had little real-world effect because it included no penalties for local officials who allow police-free areas […]

Richmond Lee statue trial set for October, Hampton Roads nursing homes ease restrictions, brighter Metro stations, and more headlines

By: - August 26, 2020

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • Jerry Falwell Jr. is characterizing his resignation from Liberty University as a relief. “The quote that keeps going through my mind this morning is Martin Luther King Jr: ‘Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty I’m free at last,'” he […]

Day of tumult at Liberty ends with Falwell resignation, universities struggle to contain COVID-19 cases, long-lost watermelons, and more headlines

By: - August 25, 2020

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • The strange saga of Jerry Falwell Jr. got stranger Monday as Reuters reported that a Miami pool attendant claimed he had sex with Falwell’s wife, Becki, “while Falwell looked on.” Other outlets later reported that Falwell had agreed to resign as president […]

Virginia Democrats fast-track absentee voting changes over Republican opposition

By: - August 24, 2020

There’s been lots of arguing over legislating via Zoom. There’s uncertainty over how far Virginia should go on issues like pandemic relief and police reform. But the Democratic-led General Assembly appears unified on at least one point: Streamlining the absentee voting process needs to happen fast. On Monday, committees in both the state Senate and […]

Virginia Mercury

Former Lt. Gov. Hager dies, a long pattern of ‘stiff resistance’ to Black leaders in Portsmouth, redlining and heat, and more headlines

By: - August 24, 2020

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • Former Lt. Gov. John Hager died Sunday at 83, drawing bipartisan condolences from Virginia political figures. A moderate Republican, Hager served in statewide office from 1998 to 2002, overcoming polio to remain “a doer and not an observer.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch • Jerry Falwell […]

Virginia Mercury

McAuliffe files fundraising papers for governor run, Virginia Tech suspends students after large gatherings, closed schools hit Va. dairy industry, and more headlines

By: - August 21, 2020

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • The Portsmouth police officer who took out felony charges against Sen. Louise Lucas had publicly blamed her for the incident at the Confederate monument before investigating the case. “For a Senator to try to inject any of us into her agenda is […]

A storm passes over the Capitol. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Sept. 11, 2018)

Virginia has $1.1B in unused reserve funds. Some say the rainy day is here.

By: - August 21, 2020

When he presented his pandemic-era budget proposal to the General Assembly this week, Gov Ralph Northam said that, just as it is in family budgeting, “cash is king.” In other words, a year of crisis and financial uncertainty is no time to start spending on new things. As legislators began their special session, Northam detailed […]

Virginia Mercury

Portsmouth police chief said to have conflict of interest in statue investigation; eviction moratorium vote delayed, Senate committee rejects paid sick leave bill, and more headlines

By: - August 20, 2020

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • Portsmouth City Manager Lydia Pettis Patton said she expected her city’s police department to drop its investigation into the Confederate statue incident and was unaware that felony charges were being prepared against Sen. Louise Lucas. Patton also claimed the city’s police chief acknowledged an unexplained […]

‘New levels of strangeness’ at special session, transportation funding shortfalls, Virginia Tech on edge as students return, and more headlines

By: - August 19, 2020

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • The Portsmouth Police Department listed city prosecutor Stephanie Morales as a possible witness in the felony cases filed against Sen. Louise Lucas and others over damage to a Confederate monument. The move could block Morales from deciding whether to prosecute the case.—Virginian-Pilot • […]

Northam wants absentee ballot drop-off boxes in Virginia. Here’s how they’d work:

By: - August 19, 2020

Amid widespread uncertainty over how elections can be conducted safely and efficiently during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Ralph Northam is proposing a system of absentee ballot drop boxes that would make it easier for voter to turn in their ballots without relying on the U.S. Postal Service. The governor’s proposal — included in his budget […]