Negative attack ads, money and volunteers plentiful leading up to Election Day; Montgomery County drops Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples’ Day and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

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Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Republican candidates who spent the summer running as centrists focused on “kitchen table issues” are taking a hard turn right in the final week of the race, unrolling attack ads that frame their Democratic opponents as socialist who want to abort babies and provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants. Observers say it “may be a risky strategy because it may remind people again of their Republican identity, which at the moment is not that popular in suburban Virginia.” —The Washington Post

• The editor of PolitiFact Virginia says he’s never seen so many negative attack ads in an election here. “Virginia, it’s just not your grandfather’s politics anymore. The courtliness that people once attached with Virginia is gone.” —WTVR

• Del. Tim Hugo, among the last Republican delegates in Northern Virginia, and Democratic challenger Dan Helmer have spent $3 million so far, making it the most expensive House of Delegates races in history. —VPAP

• Debate over abortions is energizing both Republicans and Democrats this year. Planned Parenthood said it’s sent volunteers to the doors of 50,000 voters. Anti-abortion groups say they’ve targeted 18,000 doors. —WVTF

• The president of the state NAACP said it will hold an event sponsored by a $50,000 donation from Dominion Energy despite protest by some members. “The Virginia State Conference is aware that Dominion Energy has a dismal record in environmental justice projects,” he wrote. “However, in many instances the VSC NAACP has accepted donations to support our mission and programs by these corporate partners.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Four men from Virginia Beach completed a cross-country trek to raise money for victims of the mass shooting earlier this year. —The Virginian-Pilot

• Roanoke is testing a public health response to gun violence, dispatching a civilian team to crime scenes to comfort family members and head off retaliation. —The Roanoke Times

• A federal judge sentenced a 750-pound drug dealer to five years in prison during a hearing held in the loading dock of the courthouse because the defendant was too large to enter the building. The judge denied the man’s request that he be sentenced to house arrest, noting that his home is where he was caught selling cocaine. —Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Montgomery County leaders voted to drop Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous People Day in a rare split vote that saw a Republican member side with the board’s three Democrats. —The Roanoke Times

• “During the past five years, the number of home-schooled students statewide has seen a 12% increase from nearly 39,000 in the 2013-2014 school year to 43,505 during the 2018-2019 school year.” —The Danville Register & Bee

• The Nationals won their first World Series title. —The Washington Post

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