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]

After 2021 losses, Swecker looks to retain role as chair of Va. Democrats

By: - March 16, 2022

For Susan Swecker’s first six years leading the Democratic Party of Virginia, there was always a Democratic governor in charge. That changed this year, when Gov. Glenn Youngkin scored an upset win and returned Republicans to power in Richmond, snapping a more than decade-long losing streak in statewide contests. Democrats also lost the other two […]

Youngkin calls for emergency three-month suspension of Virginia’s gas tax

By: - March 16, 2022

Saying Virginians need immediate relief from higher gas prices, Gov. Glenn Youngkin called Wednesday for a three-month suspension of Virginia’s entire gas tax, a move that would cut about 26 cents off each gallon at a roughly $437 million cost to the state. Youngkin made the announcement at a Henrico County gas station, where he […]

A Virginia gun bill had support from gun-control groups and the NRA. It still failed.

By: - March 15, 2022

At a legislative hearing last month, something so unusual happened some in the room joked it should go down as an important moment in history: The NRA and gun-control groups agreed a Democratic gun bill was good enough to make it through a Republican committee. “So Jesus is coming any minute,” quipped Del. Nick Freitas, […]

Virginia Senate blocks Youngkin’s picks for Parole Board

By: - March 10, 2022

Democrats in the Virginia Senate voted Thursday to block Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s appointees to the Virginia Parole Board, another shot in an ongoing partisan battle over filling roles in state government. The Senate voted 21-19 to block a normally routine resolution confirming four Youngkin appointees to the Parole Board and one appointee to the Safety […]

Virginia Retirement System estimates it had about $100M in Russia-linked investments

By: - March 10, 2022

The Virginia Retirement System Trust Fund recently had around $100 million in investments linked to Russia, according to VRS officials who oversee the pension fund for the state’s public employees. But the agency says it can’t determine the current value of those assets due to the turbulence in Russia’s financial system following the country’s invasion […]

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

Bill restricting public access to police files advances out of Virginia Senate

By: - March 8, 2022

A controversial bill to largely undo a new criminal-justice transparency law in Virginia will be worked out behind closed doors in the General Assembly session’s last week. The Democratic-led state Senate voted 26-13 Tuesday to send the legislation to a conference committee, a small panel of legislators that will work out its details and present […]

What do Virginians think about Youngkin’s tax cuts? It depends on how you ask the question.

By: - March 7, 2022

Most Virginians want to see budget surpluses reinvested back into government services instead of tax cuts, according to a recent poll. Or most Virginians think the government has enough money, as another recent poll found, to give some back to regular people. How could two polls asking fundamentally the same question around the same time […]

Sen. Mamie Locke, D-Hampton, speaks to supporters of the felon voting rights amendment during a rally on Capitol Square. (Photo by Graham Moomaw)

Republicans fall in line against final push to expand felon voting rights in Virginia

By: - March 3, 2022

One of the proposals to automatically restore felons’ voting rights in Virginia once they’ve done their time had three Republican sponsors in the GOP-led House of Delegates. That would seem to be enough for the pending constitutional amendment doing away with lifetime felon disenfranchisement to pass if put to a full vote in a chamber […]

Virginia lawmakers still can’t bring themselves to ban personal use of campaign cash

By: - March 2, 2022

After years of debate and multiple studies, Virginia lawmakers still aren’t ready to pass a law preventing themselves from using campaign cash on personal expenses that have nothing to do with running for office. The last remaining bill prohibiting personal use of campaign funds died Wednesday morning in a House of Delegates subcommittee, with several […]

Virginia ABC puts $77K worth of Russian vodka into storage

By: - February 28, 2022

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority says the $77,000 worth of Russian-sourced vodka it pulled from shelves won’t be thrown out but will be stored at its facilities “until further notice.” The government-run liquor monopoly announced Sunday it was removing seven vodka brands from its stores in response to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s call for the […]

Virginia lawmakers OK bill to replace the term ‘alien’ in state code

By: - February 28, 2022

In a section of Virginia law dealing with minority-owned businesses, the wording specifies those businesses must be owned by a U.S. citizen or a “legal resident aliens.” Another law says gun dealers cannot hire an “illegal alien” as a seller. Those are just two of dozens of places the word “alien” appears in Virginia code […]

Virginia lawmakers hoping to unseat Democratic congresswomen use Ukrainian crisis to blast Biden

By: - February 24, 2022

As the world was still coming to grips with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Virginia Sen. Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania, used the crisis to raise money for his congressional run in what could be one of the country’s most competitive districts. The subject line of the email that went out Thursday just before 9 a.m. read: “America’s […]