Alternate universe Senate race, update on Unite the Right anniversary and Richmond’s attendance woes, among other headlines

A different result with ranked-choice voting?

Could instant-runoff voting, also known as ranked-choice voting, have installed Nick Freitas as the GOP Senate candidate instead of Corey Stewart? Marla McKenna at  The Culpeper Star-Exponent quotes Freitas as in favor of the method, calling it “a solid policy” and pledging to support legislation that would give Virginia voters that option, which allows voters to rank candidates by preference.

If no candidate achieves a majority, the candidate in last place is eliminated and those voters’ second choices get the votes, a process that continues until someone wins a simple majority. In the contest between Stewart, Freitas and, conservative minister E.W. Jackson, Jackson pulled nearly 12 percent of the vote. Stewart got just under 45 percent while Freitas received 43 percent of the vote.


The Winchester-area NAACP chapter is pushing for a roadside marker or plaque as a memorial for lynching victim William Shorter. “People need to know how widespread that was and how wrong it was,” said Gwen Walker, president of the Winchester NAACP, which includes Clarke and Frederick counties. “We don’t want history to repeat itself.”— The Winchester Star

Richmond Public Schools hasn’t been an enforcing an absence policy and it’s created some headaches. One in 4 students in the system has been chronically absent and in May, the school board had to suspend the attendance policy to avoid hurting the chances that 1 in 3 graduates would actually get diplomas. — The Richmond Times-Dispatch

In Charlottesville, City Council got a briefing on planning for potential demonstrations on the anniversary of last year’s deadly Unite the Right rally. — The Cavalier Daily


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Robert Zullo
Robert has been winning and losing awards as a reporter and editor for 13 years at weekly and daily newspapers, beginning at Worrall Community Newspapers in Union, N.J., where he was a staff writer and managing editor. He spent five years in south Louisiana covering hurricanes, oil spills and Good Friday crawfish boils as a reporter and city editor for the The Courier and the Daily Comet newspapers in Houma and Thibodaux. He covered Richmond city hall for the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2012 to 2013 and worked as a general assignment and city hall reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2013 to 2016. He returned to Richmond in 2016 to cover energy, environment and transportation for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. A former waiter, armored car guard and appliance deliveryman, he is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Contact him at [email protected]