Author

Mechelle Hankerson

Mechelle Hankerson

Mechelle, born and raised in Virginia Beach, is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in mass communications and a concentration in print journalism. She covered the General Assembly for the university’s Capital News Service and was among 12 student journalists in swing states selected by the Washington Post to cover the 2012 presidential election. For the past five years, she has covered local government, crime, housing, infrastructure and other issues at the Raleigh News & Observer and The Virginian-Pilot, where she most recently covered the state’s biggest city, Virginia Beach. Mechelle was with the Virginia Mercury until January 3rd, 2019.

Amid push from younger progressives, how much socialism are Democrats willing to embrace?

By: - July 30, 2018

From a shouting match on “The View” to surveys that show the word has lost its Cold War stigma for millennials, socialism has been having a moment since New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who identifies as a socialist, took down a longtime Democrat last month in the party’s primary election. Some Democratic leaders have rejected […]

Del. Greg Habeeb to leave the legislature

By: - July 27, 2018

Republican Del. Greg Habeeb announced he will give up his spot in the state legislature, forcing a special election for his Roanoke-area district. “It has been my honor to serve you, but I passionately believe in our founders’ vision of a citizen legislature where regular people step up, take their turn at bat and then […]

Report: Virginia’s Medicaid work requirement could mean thousands lose coverage

By: - July 26, 2018

The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis, a Richmond-based, nonpartisan research organization, estimates that thousands of Virginians would lose coverage if the state successfully implements a work requirement as part of Medicaid expansion. The General Assembly passed Medicaid expansion during its last session after four years of failed attempts. To earn Republican support, the legislature added […]

How we feel about federal agencies now depends on party affiliation

By: - July 25, 2018

Americans’ feelings about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency that enforces laws on border control, customs, trade and immigration, are split almost evenly down the middle, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center. But when factoring in respondents’ political affiliations, the difference in opinion is more stark. Seventy-two percent of the […]

UVA Center for Politics: These Virginia congressional races could be Democratic victories

By: - July 24, 2018

The University of Virginia Center for Politics says the odds that chambers of Congress will be split between parties after the November election are getting better. Democrats now have a slightly better than 50-50 chance of winning a majority in the U.S. House, analyst Kyle Kondik wrote in a newsletter this week. And although Democrats […]

Danville responds to Corey Stewart’s claims about the city

By: - July 24, 2018

One of Danville’s top elected officials and the Danville Register & Bee took issue with Republican U.S. Senate candidate Corey Stewart’s description of the city during Saturday’s debate. Stewart described Danville as being ground zero for Democrats’ failed economic policies. The city, according to Stewart, is full of boarded-up storefronts, riddled with residents addicted to opioids […]

‘No one really wins.’ For a supremely polarized electorate, what value do debates add?

By: - July 24, 2018

HOT SPRINGS —  There was plenty of talk about President Donald Trump, boarded-up storefronts in Danville and U.S. relations with Russia at the first debate between U.S. Senate candidates Tim Kaine and Corey Stewart. The two met Saturday at the Omni Homestead Resort for a debate sponsored by the Virginia Bar Association. Generally missing from […]