John Cole

John Cole

John Cole's political cartoons on Virginia government and politics appear on the Virginia Mercury on Fridays. He is currently the staff cartoonist for the editorial pages of The Times-Tribune in Scranton, PA. Prior to this, he enjoyed a nearly 20-year run with The Herald-Sun in Durham, NC, where he developed an affection for the state, its people and its politics. His award-winning work is internationally syndicated by Cagle Cartoons.


Sturtevant changes tack

By: - March 27, 2023

From The Virginia Mercury: “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 […]


Wind Projects

By: - March 6, 2023

From The Virginia Mercury: “A Fox News story on Feb. 13 made strenuous attempts to link a dead right whale to Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, which currently consists of two small test turbines about 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach.”


Virginia MAGA Institute

By: - February 27, 2023

From The Washington Post: “Months into [new VMI superintendent Cedric T. Wins’] tenure, Matt Daniel, now 60, and other 1985 graduates launched a political action committee called the Spirit of VMI. The group has been pushing back forcefully against Wins, 59, and his diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, which are intended to attract more minorities […]


Line of credit: Do not cross!

By: - February 20, 2023

From The Virginia Mercury: “A transparency bill that would have required Virginia government agencies to disclose the names of employees using taxpayer-backed credit cards failed in a Republican-controlled House of Delegates subcommittee Tuesday [Feb. 14].”


Virginia legislature’s ‘official’ pony

By: - February 13, 2023

From The Virginia Mercury: “Democratic-sponsored gun bills weren’t expected to get much support in the Virginia House of Delegates. But a few pieces of legislation died a faster death than normal Thursday as the Republican House and Democratic Senate feuded over protocols for hearing testimony from lawmakers in the other chamber.”


‘I just think sometimes we overthink all of this…”

By: - February 6, 2023

From The Virginia Mercury: “‘I just think sometimes we overthink all of this and we go too far,’ House Majority Leader Terry Kilgore, R-Scott, said after voting against several gun storage bills proposed during Virginia’s 2023 General Assembly session.”


Yee-haw, roll coal!

By: - January 30, 2023

From The Virginia Mercury: “Republicans in the House of Delegates passed legislation Wednesday [Jan. 25] to repeal a law tying Virginia to California vehicle emissions standards that are set to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars in 2035.”


Behind bars: Virginia jails price gouging

By: - January 23, 2023

From The Virginia Mercury: Del. Irene Shin last week introduced a bill to limit the price markups and fees charged to inmates and their families for goods and services purchased behind bars.


Out-of-pocket teacher classroom expenses

By: - January 16, 2023

From The Virginian-Pilot: On Friday Jan. 6, 2023, “police said a first-grade student at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News shot his teacher inside a classroom. Abigail Zwerner, 25, suffered injuries initially described as life-threatening, but as of Saturday afternoon, she was in stable condition at Riverside Regional Medical Center. No one else was hurt.”


Only one way to eat an elephant

By: - January 9, 2023

From Maryland Matters: “The U.S. House elected Kevin McCarthy speaker early Saturday after most of the chamber’s Republicans finally gathered behind him, ending a four-day stalemate that led to the most rounds of voting for a speaker since before the Civil War.”


A New Year’s resolution

By: - January 2, 2023

From The Virginia Mercury: “For a second year in a row, the subcommittee created to take a ‘comprehensive’ look at whether the state needs stronger limits on money in politics appears to be failing to complete its only task.”


Here comes Youngkin Claus…

By: - December 19, 2022

From The Virginia Mercury: “Gov. Glenn Youngkin rolled out a budget plan Thursday that includes $1 billion in tax cuts for Virginia residents and businesses, telling the General Assembly to “buckle up” because his administration wants the state to ‘start going faster and getting more done.'”