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]

McAuliffe opposed right-to-work repeal before. Now he says he’s for it but doesn’t think it will happen.

By: - June 3, 2021

As he runs for a second term, Terry McAuliffe is presenting himself as a policy-heavy candidate, talking up the 130 pages of “big bold plans” listed on his website. But the former governor, seen as a strong favorite to win his party’s nomination for governor in next week’s primary, has studiously avoided taking a clear […]

Virginia Mercury

Record low daily COVID case count, Cigna customers in Fredericksburg impacted by contract dispute, Unite the Right lawsuit subpoenas, and more headlines

By: - June 2, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • A federal lawsuit accusing two Portsmouth police officers of wrongfully arresting and assaulting a man while he was visiting his bedridden mother has been settled out of court days before it was set to go to trial.—Virginian-Pilot • Virginia’s COVID-19 numbers hit […]

Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls take final swings at McAuliffe in last primary debate

By: - June 1, 2021

The fourth and final debate of Virginia’s Democratic primary for governor was the most contentious yet as progressive candidates tried to portray frontrunner Terry McAuliffe as out of step with the type of message the party needs to deliver to keep the state blue. One week out from the primary, it remains to be seen […]

Families of Virginia Beach shooting victims still seeking closure, culture wars in Loudoun, SWVA sheriffs switching affiliations to Republican, and more headlines

By: - June 1, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere • Two years have passed since the Virginia Beach mass shooting, and some families are still seeking closure.—Virginian-Pilot • “President Biden joined Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam at an indoor rock-climbing facility in Alexandria on Friday to tout progress against the coronavirus pandemic in […]

Election officials begin $20-29M project to replace Virginia’s voter system

By: - May 28, 2021

For years, local officials have been complaining that Virginia’s all-encompassing election software — which powers everything from voter registration to absentee ballots to list maintenance to transmission of results — is slow and hard to use. A 2018 report from state auditors verified those frustrations, concluding the Virginia Election and Registration Information System, or VERIS, […]

A legally required disclosure says the anti-Montgomery mailer was paid for and authorized by the House Democratic Caucus, as well as being authorized by King's campaign.

Va. House Democratic Caucus OKs mailers portraying top Democratic donors as ‘dark money billionaires’

By: - May 26, 2021

The Virginia House Democratic Caucus authorized and funded attack mailers that falsely imply two of the state’s top donors to Democrats are right-wing “dark money billionaires,” according to an image of the mailer obtained by The Virginia Mercury. The caucus-backed messages were sent in support of new Del. Candi King, D-Prince William, who has accepted […]

Va. Finance Secretary Aubrey Layne is departing for job at Sentara Healthcare

By: - May 26, 2021

As Gov. Ralph Northam’s term starts to wind down, Finance Secretary Aubrey Layne is leaving his post in the Northam administration for a job at Sentara Healthcare, the Hampton Roads-based health system announced Wednesday. Layne, who served as Virginia’s secretary of transportation under former Gov. Terry McAuliffe and was named finance secretary in 2018, will […]

‘Inexcusable’: Question in Democratic LG debate about Rasoul’s Muslim donors sparks backlash

By: - May 25, 2021

The topic of campaign finance reform was raised in an unusual way Tuesday night at the first and only televised debate of Virginia’ Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, with a moderator tailoring a question specifically to Del. Sam Rasoul, the first Muslim ever elected to the General Assembly. Dave Lucas, an anchor at WJLA, noted […]

The five Democratic candidates for governor squared off in a virtual debate on May 20.

Why you? In third debate, Democratic candidates for governor answer the question.

By: - May 20, 2021

The five Democratic candidates for governor in Virginia squared off in a virtual debate Thursday night, the third of four debates scheduled before the June 8 primary. The hourlong event hosted by NBC4 Washington covered much of the same territory as the first two debates, with former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Sen. Jennifer McClellan, Lt. Gov. […]

Virginia State Capitol

Virginia Redistricting Commission debates hiring partisan firms for legal advice

By: - May 19, 2021

For the Virginia Redistricting Commission, questions seem to be piling up faster than answers. The latest dilemma: Should the citizen-led commission try to find a nonpartisan law firm with experience in a field dominated by overtly political lawyers? Or should the commission hire one Republican firm and one Democratic firm and hope that leads to […]

A Virginia lawmaker wants to make FOIA requests cheaper or free. Some government and police groups aren’t happy about it.

By: - May 19, 2021

To make the case for why Virginia’s public-records law needs to work better for reporters and citizens alike, Del. Danica Roem told the story of a constituent, Stephanie Minor, who Roem said spent seven months fighting Prince William County Public Schools for access to video footage showing her autistic daughter being dragged off a school […]

With big money behind progressive challengers, 2021 could be test case for Charlottesville donors’ influence

By: - May 17, 2021

As lawmakers prepare to study the prospects for campaign finance reform in Virginia, the sheer size of some checks flowing to Democratic candidates for statewide office has renewed debate about the boosts offered by a wealthy Charlottesville couple topping charts as the biggest donors in state politics. Though they backed opposing candidates in the 2017 […]