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]

As Virginia Democrats advance new gun restrictions, militias organize, promising to resist

By: and - January 13, 2020

Opponents of new gun laws in Virginia are organizing militias in the state, but promise they’re not planning to use the new paramilitary organizations to launch a violent insurrection against the government. “We’re just a group of like-minded individuals trying to protect our rights,” said a man standing in the gravel parking lot of an […]

Virginia Democrats enact immediate gun ban at state Capitol complex

By: - January 10, 2020

Virginia Democrats used their new majority power to pass a ban on guns inside the state Capitol and the General Assembly’s adjacent office building, a contentious step that set off the first major partisan fight of the session. The legislature’s Joint Rules Committee approved the gun ban Friday afternoon in a party-line vote. The new […]

House Democrats’ new rules: Feminine pronouns, labor first and (maybe) a Capitol gun ban

By: - January 9, 2020

The masculine pronouns were swapped out for feminine ones. The House Commerce and Labor Committee was renamed the House Labor and Commerce Committee, a sign of Virginia Democrats’ desire to elevate workers in a place where business interests usually hold sway. The new Democratic majority in the House of Delegates embedded several symbolic flourishes in […]

Va. House Democrats’ policy on guns in the Capitol may or may not include ‘blanket prohibition’

By: - January 9, 2020

The new Democratic majority in the Virginia House of Delegates will pursue a new policy on guns in the Capitol that may or may not include a “blanket prohibition.” Democratic leaders released a proposed rules package Thursday morning that includes a new section dealing with firearms in House-controlled areas of the Capitol and General Assembly […]

‘Madam Speaker’: After 400 years, Filler-Corn becomes first woman to lead Virginia House

By: - January 8, 2020

After 400 years of misters, Virginia has a Madam Speaker. On Wednesday, Del. Eileen Filler-Corn of Fairfax became the first woman ever elected to lead the House of Delegates, taking the gavel as Democrats prepare to use their hard-won majority power to dramatically reshape state policy. On what is usually a light day filled with […]

No, Virginia. The governor’s budget doesn’t fund an 18-officer gun confiscation squad.

By: - January 7, 2020

Amid a conspiracy theory-tinged uproar over the possibility of Virginia passing new gun-control laws, pro-gun activists have scoured the state budget for evidence validating their fears about the government coming for their firearms. But much of the pro-gun rhetoric surrounding Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed budget doesn’t match reality. The two-year budget includes roughly $4 million […]

Cherokee tribe announces plan for casino in Southwest Virginia

By: - January 7, 2020

A new player emerged in Virginia’s casino race Tuesday as the federally recognized Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians announced plans to build a 350-acre casino resort in Southwest Virginia’s Washington County, just outside the city of Bristol. The announcement comes one day before the kickoff of the 2020 General Assembly session, when state lawmakers will […]

Bill Drop Friday: Restricting highway work to nighttime, banning lab coats in hemp ads and keeping teens off e-scooters

By: - January 3, 2020

With thousands of bills expected to be drafted for the 2020 legislative session, not every idea can get its own headline. But we’ll use this space to highlight some of the more interesting or unexpected proposals that show up in the General Assembly’s online system each week. Restricting highway work to nighttime hours HB283: Time […]

On Va. Democrats’ 2020 to-do list, voting rights seem to top campaign finance reform

By: - January 2, 2020

The weekend before she’ll be officially elected the next speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, Eileen Filler-Corn will host a sendoff fundraiser at a Fairfax bar with donation levels ranging from $50 to $5,000. When she gets to Richmond, Filler-Corn donors looking for face time with the House’s new leader will be able to […]

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

In official opinion, Virginia AG says gun sanctuary resolutions have ‘no legal effect’

By: - December 20, 2019

Attorney General Mark Herring says the Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions being passed by Virginia localities have “no legal effect,” according to an official opinion issued Friday. Even if the resolutions were written to explicitly defy the new gun-control laws expected to be passed next year under a Democratic-controlled General Assembly, Herring said localities have no […]

Virginia State Capitol

Bill drop Friday: Cracking down on alternative milk, easing drug-related barriers to food stamps and designating an official state firearm

By: - December 20, 2019

With thousands of bills expected to be drafted for the 2020 legislative session, not every idea can get its own headline. But we’ll use this space to highlight some of the more interesting or unexpected proposals that show up in the General Assembly’s online system each week. Cracking down on alternative milk HB119: Milk; definition; […]

Out of 8.2 million vehicles inspected in Va. last year, nearly 20% had defects

By: - December 20, 2019

Almost one out of every five vehicles inspected in Virginia last year had defects that required immediate repairs or a rejection sticker, according to Virginia State Police data. This week, Gov. Ralph Northam proposed scrapping state-mandated vehicle safety inspections, drawing new focus to a decades-old program meant to ensure cars travelling Virginia roads are in […]