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.


To protect and to swerve

By: - December 12, 2022

From The Virginia Mercury: “Virginia State Police acknowledged “human error” caused them to miss a violent incident in the past of a former state trooper who killed three people in California last month, but the agency is refusing to release 247 pages of personnel records that could shed more light on his time as a […]


A new predator in the Bay

By: - December 5, 2022

From The Virginia Mercury: “Virginia regulators will consider changes to commercial menhaden fishing in the Chesapeake Bay following requests from recreational anglers to put an end to the fishery. … Reedville-based Omega Protein, the lone player in the Bay’s menhaden reduction fishery, which processes catches into fishmeal or fish oil, says the new regulations take […]


Vest styles

By: - November 28, 2022

From The Virginia Mercury: “Following the second mass shooting in Virginia in as many weeks that left 7 dead as of midday Wednesday, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin said his administration plans to propose legislation to the General Assembly this winter to bolster mental health resources. While offering few details to reporters following an annual Thanksgiving […]


Kitchen table conversation

By: - November 21, 2022

From Capital News Service: “Sea level rise will continue to impact the Hampton Roads area, scientists warn, but climate change was not necessarily an issue that pulled 2nd District voters to the polls — and it was not a part of the candidates’ platforms either.”


‘Sincerest gratitude …’

By: - November 14, 2022

From The Virginia Mercury: “As the GOP surveyed the disappointment of a surprisingly lackluster performance in the midterm elections, [Del. Tim] Anderson is the first Virginia Republican to call bluntly for a full breakup with former President Donald Trump. ‘He will lose Virginia. Just like he’s lost two other times. And he’s going to bring […]


Virginia is for voters

By: - November 7, 2022

Don’t forget: Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. For more information on where to vote, go to


Not so fast

By: - October 31, 2022

From The Richmond Times-Dispatch: “The state inspector general said Wednesday that he’ll investigate allegations regarding a state tourism contract for the political media firm that works with Gov. Glenn Youngkin. The administrative investigation will include examining whether the Virginia Tourism Corporation used an appropriate procurement process for selecting Richmond-based Poolhouse to create the video, said […]


The Washington Commoders

By: - October 24, 2022

From ESPN: “Why is Dan Snyder still an NFL team owner? And how has he managed to survive allegations of a toxic club culture, sexual harassment, accounting misdeeds and the bungling of a new stadium proposal that once seemed inevitable and is now met with hard resistance by the public and officials in Virginia, Maryland […]


Board of Elections

By: - October 18, 2022

From The Virginia Mercury: “‘It’s not a good time to be an election official right now,’ Olsen said as he publicly announced his departure. ‘And I think there’s legitimate fear about what could come down the road for people who are just trying to do their jobs.’ … Democratic [Board of Election member Keith Scarborough] […]


A wonderful place to visit?

By: - October 11, 2022

From The Richmond Times-Dispatch: “Virginia House and Senate Democratic leaders sent a letter Thursday to a state oversight agency asking for an investigation of how the political media firm that works for Gov. Glenn Youngkin landed a $268,600 state contract in an unusual process with tight work deadlines and only one bidder.”


Threading the needle

By: - October 3, 2022

From The Virginia Mercury: “A permitting reform proposal by West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin that would have required completion of the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline was halted Tuesday. … The Manchin plan had drawn widespread rebuke from most Republicans, a few Senate Democrats including Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine and a large group of […]


The real ‘rat’

By: - September 26, 2022

From The Washington Post: “Freshman enrollment at Virginia Military Institute has plummeted by 25 percent this year, prompting alarm and debate among officials and alumni about how to fix the problem. … For the past two years, the college has faced intense scrutiny over racism and sexism on its Lexington campus, fueling a public battle […]