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]

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 […]

After chaotic Virginia GOP convention, Democrats see extreme ticket while Republicans feel ‘relief’

By: and - May 14, 2021

When Del. Jason Miyares, a former prosecutor and son of a Cuban immigrant, defeated a more right-wing challenger to become the Virginia GOP’s nominee for attorney general, Democrats wasted no time labeling him a “right-wing extremist.” The next day, when wealthy businessman Glenn Youngkin won the Republican nomination for governor in a field that included […]

Judge tosses Chase’s lawsuit seeking to overturn Va. Senate censure

By: - May 13, 2021

A federal judge has thrown out Sen. Amanda Chase’s lawsuit seeking to undo the Virginia Senate’s vote to formally censure her earlier this year, ruling that the legislative body and its staff are immune from a legal challenge over the decision. Chase, a Chesterfield County Republican who finished third in the party’s recent nominating contest […]

Virginia GOP picks Glenn Youngkin as its nominee for governor. Here’s what we know about him. 

By: and - May 10, 2021

He’s ultra-rich, enjoys tubing and shotguns and, until a few months ago, was virtually unknown in Virginia political circles. Glenn Youngkin emerged as the Virginia GOP’s nominee for governor on Monday after a relatively drama-free day of vote counting that saw the 54-year-old former CEO of the Carlyle Group maintain a comfortable lead through successive […]

‘Tired of getting whupped’: GOP convention voters offer competing visions for a red Virginia

By: and - May 8, 2021

Republicans around Virginia streamed into voting sites Saturday to choose their nominee for governor, and in Caroline County, Don Denton was first in line. He said he was backing Amanda Chase, a state senator who ran a hard-right campaign and pitched herself as “Trump in heels” despite the former president’s overwhelming losses in Virginia, which […]