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.

General Assembly tracker: Everyone who says they aren’t coming back next year

By: and - March 21, 2023

For updated info, see: Updated: Who might — and who won’t — be returning to the General Assembly next year As the 2023 legislative session draws to a close, a mounting number of delegates and senators are announcing this one will be their last. Twenty-eight lawmakers have said they don’t intend to run again this […]

How a 2019 vote on Virginia’s red flag law is shaking up a GOP primary in 2023

By: - March 20, 2023

COLONIAL HEIGHTS — When Glen Sturtevant stood to speak to diehard gun rights supporters gathered at an American Legion post last week, he knew he had some explaining to do. A former state senator with a moderate profile who is trying to make a political comeback in a more conservative district, Sturtevant opened his remarks […]

Virginia delegate says he’ll resign current seat to run for new one

By: - March 16, 2023

A rule in the Virginia Constitution requiring General Assembly members to resign their seats if they move out of their district will force Del. Nadarius Clark, D-Portsmouth, to step down before legislators return to Richmond April 12, Clark’s campaign acknowledged this week. On Wednesday, Democratic candidate Michele Joyce, who’s running in the same redrawn House […]

Virginia lawmakers consider restoring part of tax deduction for sports betting apps

By: - March 14, 2023

When Virginia stopped letting sports betting companies deduct free-bet promotions from their taxable revenue last year, the state saw a significant bump in tax dollars. The industry wasn’t happy with the change, arguing policymakers were inhibiting the long-term potential of legal betting platforms by making it harder to attract new bettors and keep existing ones. […]

Virginia health groups back effort to crack down on THC products

By: - March 10, 2023

The leaders of four Virginia health care groups are urging Gov. Glenn Youngkin to sign legislation that would impose strict new limits on hemp-derived products that contain intoxicating amounts of THC, the compound in marijuana that gets users high, as well as potential fines on retailers that sell them. In the letter dated Thursday, the […]

Virginia saw more than 25,000 ballots cast via same-day registration in law’s first year

By: - March 8, 2023

More than 25,000 Virginians tried to cast a ballot in the 2022 midterm elections under same-day registration rules, a new process that had the most impact in college towns, according to statewide data obtained by The Virginia Mercury. A total of 25,353 ballots were cast via same-day registration in its first year of implementation, found […]

Youngkin signs universal license recognition law at Richmond barber shop

By: - March 3, 2023

Dot Reid’s barber shop used to have 20 employees and two floors of space in Richmond’s Fan District. Coming out of a pandemic when many people treated haircuts as optional or more of a do-it-yourself thing, she’s down to five employees on one floor. As she cut a customer’s hair Friday morning, Reid explained the […]

Virginia’s new cannabis authority faces more responsibilities, possible budget cuts

By: - March 2, 2023

Lawmakers have signaled they want the new Virginia Cannabis Control Authority to take over the state’s medical marijuana program and act as the main enforcer of stricter rules on cannabis-related advertising. But the authority, which is still staffing up after being established in 2021, is also battling the prospect of a major budget cut included […]

Virginia lawmakers send Parole Board transparency bill to Youngkin

By: - March 1, 2023

In the final days of the 2023 legislation session, the Virginia General Assembly reached bipartisan agreement on a bill requiring the Virginia Parole Board to conduct more of its work in the open. The agency, which has long been exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, would no longer have blanket immunity from transparency rules […]

Virginia lawmakers pass bill to get tougher on hemp that gets you high

By: - February 24, 2023

Both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly voted Friday to pass a bill to toughen regulations on hemp-derived products that contain intoxicating THC through a more robust permitting system and stricter labeling rules. Retail marijuana sales will remain illegal under the proposed law. Proponents of the bill called it a necessary first step toward cracking […]

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

Republicans and Democrats both want to make life cheaper for Virginians. They disagree on how.

By: and - February 23, 2023

Right before the 2023 General Assembly session began, a Virginia Commonwealth University poll found inflation was still a top issue Virginians want their elected officials to address. Because statehouses don’t have much control over national monetary policy, state legislators have spent much of the last six weeks debating what they can do to ease financial […]

Virginia lawmakers approve bill limiting emergency restrictions on houses of worship

By: - February 23, 2023

Legislation heading to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s desk would prevent future Virginia governors from issuing any emergency orders that would shut down church services and other religious gatherings while leaving businesses and other secular facilities open, a proposal that grew out of frustration with COVID-19 shutdown orders. As originally drafted and approved by the GOP-led House […]