Virginia Republicans only need to flip six seats to retake the majority in the House of Delegates, but to do that, they must protect a handful of vulnerable Republican districts like House District 66. Former Speaker of the House Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) is retiring after assuming office in 199o, and the urban, suburban, and rural district leans Democratic. It’s one of a handful of seats that survived Trump-era Democratic waves in greater Richmond in 2017 and 2019. GOP candidate Mike Cherry is running against Democrat Katie Sponsler in a battle of turnout and name recognition.
“This is an open seat so for the first time in decades, voters have the opportunity to learn about and choose between two new candidates, without the weight of incumbency skewing the election,” Chesterfield County Democratic Committee Chair Sara Gaborik told The Virginia Star. Read More
In a video revealed Monday, Democratic Virginia delegate candidate Katie Sponsler amplified her recently publicized comment about police violence with pointed words to someone filming and questioning her about it: “Enjoy your soulless life.”
An audio recording that came to light last week showed the candidate for House District 66 saying of police, “There’s definitely some who are murderers.” Read More
CHESTER, Virginia – The GOP candidates for governor, attorney general, and lieutenant governor stopped in Chester on Saturday afternoon for a rally with about 350 attendees. In 90-degree heat Glenn Youngkin, Delegate Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach), and Winsome Sears spoke, mentioning Juneteenth, opposed Critical Race Theory in schools, and called for tough-on-crime policies.
“Virginians for the last eight years have been crushed. And I’ll say right here, right now, eight is enough,” Youngkin said. Read More
Former Carlyle CEO Glenn Youngkin is the Republican Party of Virginia’s nominee for governor. The win is a surprise since many pundits said that lower-than-expected turnout in Saturday’s convention meant that Youngkin’s base had collapsed. Instead, Youngkin took an early lead in the first round of counting of ranked-choice votes. Although it took six rounds of counting and all of Monday to confirm his win, Youngkin consistently stayed in the lead. In the last round Youngkin carried 54.71 percent of weighted votes to Pete Snyder’s 45.29 percent. Read More
The Republican Party of Virginia held its unassembled convention to pick party nominees for governor, attorney general, and lieutenant governor on Saturday. Official results will be slow to come in, thanks in part to a decision to hand-count the tens of thousands of ranked-choice ballots. As a result, campaigns and elections watchers are looking at turnout estimates for clues about who the nominees might be. Estimates from Republican Governor’s Association officials claim about 52 percent of the over 53,000 registered delegates turned out. Read More
Virginia is trailing the rest of the United States in processing certain unemployment claims. That’s led to a class-action lawsuit against the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), filed in April. VEC Commissioner Ellen Hess asked for an extension until the end of May to respond to the lawsuit, but on Wednesday, a district judge ruled that the VEC could only have a four-day extension from May 7 until May 11. Read More
After months of contention among party leadership and claims of cheating and irregularities among the candidates, the Republican Party of Virginia will finally select its candidates for statewide office on Saturday, although the final count may not be known for several days. The candidates have fanned out across the state, emphasizing policies like reopening schools and businesses, supporting gun rights, and fighting for election integrity. This week the candidates are making their final appeals to convention delegates with more calls for reform, campaign stops, and support from major GOP political figures. Read More
The Republican Party of Virginia has 53,524 delegates registered, as of Tuesday, to participate in the RPV unassembled convention at 39 locations on May 8. That’s an all-time record that speaks to party enthusiasm, according to RPV Chairman Rich Anderson’s remarks at a Tuesday debate. Anderson said the last time the RPV was this energized was in 2009 with Bob McDonnell leading the ticket. Read More
After backlash from Republican politicians and activists over the Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative (VMPI), Virginia Department of Education officials held a Zoom meeting to respond.
On Monday, VDOE Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said, “We’ve heard a lot of information shared in some sources with some information that’s just not accurate.” Read More
The race for the GOP nomination for the top Virginia positions is coming to an end, leading to a debate, tours, and a trip to Florida. In the Democratic primary, early voting has already begun, but big nominations are still rolling in. Read More
A proposed Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative (VMPI) has Republicans concerned after Loudoun County School Board member Ian Serotkin warned about the plan on Facebook, first reported by Fox News. Serotkin wrote that there are some good things in the initiative, like enabling students to take calculus in high school. But Serotkin also warned that the VMPI would end math acceleration before 11th grade. Read More
Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield), Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), and Glenn Youngkin released a letter Wednesday criticizing a vote-counting plan to tally votes in the Republican Party of Virginia’s (RPV) nominating convention. The convention will use ranked-choice voting, which makes vote counting complicated and time-consuming. An RPV committee has recommended that the RPV use an Excel-based system called the ‘Burkhardt Method.’ But the three candidates say the method is unproven, and may have security concerns. Read More
Gubernatorial candidate Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) agrees that schools need to be reopened immediately. But he says that’s not enough — policymakers need to address learning losses. Districts like Fairfax County have reported spikes in failing grades. Parents and medical studies have expressed concern over the long-term harms caused by a year of virtual learning. Cox is calling for tutoring programs to help students recover academically, and he says he is willing to be one of those tutors. Read More
The Virginia Department of Education announced a new set of guidelines for school reopening, the result of a workgroup created in February. The guidelines include recommendations for remediating learning loss, note that virtual learning doesn’t work for every students, calls for special attention for vulnerable populations, and say that more staff may be needed to keep student-teacher ratios low. Read More
Governor Ralph Northam endorsed his predecessor to be his successor. Gubernatorial candidate and former Governor Terry McAuliffe received Northam’s endorsement in a week with several key gubernatorial endorsements. On Thursday, the governor appeared with the former governor in Norfolk.
“We need a leader that can continue this progress. We need a leader that will bring us out of COVID-19, a leader that will help small businesses. A leader that will promote equity in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Terry McAuliffe will do that,” Northam said. Read More
Dominion Energy Chairman and Virginia philanthropist Thomas F. “Tom” Farrell II has died, causing the Commonwealth of Virginia and it’s political leaders to mourn the loss of one of the most powerful businessmen in Virginia history. Farrell, age 66, passed away due to cancer on Friday, one day after relinquishing the Chairmanship of the company he had steered from 2007 to 2020. Mr. Farrell and his family have heavily influenced some of the most important business and political decisions in the Commonwealth. Read More
The Republican Party of Virginia announced Friday that the filing deadline had passed for the 2021 Republican Party of Virginia unassembled convention, creating a scramble for the wide open Governor’s race. The unassembled convention is scheduled for Saturday, May 8th, with over 30 polling locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia. According to the Republican Party of Virginia, all but two announced candidates for Governor filed for and paid their filing fee.
The following candidates have properly filed with the Republican Party of Virginia and will appear on the Republican Party of Virginia 2021 Statewide unassembled convention ballot. Read More
With a special election coming on Tuesday for Senate District 38, gubernatorial candidates on both side of the aisle made appearances this week campaigning for Laurie Buchwald (D) and Travis Hackworth (R). But the governor’s race this week also featured hot dog reviews, a Democratic debate, and attacks between candidates. Read More
The Republican Party of Virginia has finally selected a clear nomination process, and the GOP gubernatorial candidates are working to register delegates who will vote for them in the unassembled convention. They’re also attending gun shows, launching new political ads, and attacking the Virginia Parole Board. Read More
An Office of the State Inspector General (OSIG) employee who helped investigate the Virginia Parole Board (VPB) is suing Inspector General Michael Westfall. Jennifer Moschetti’s lawsuit, filed on Monday, states that she was placed on pre-disciplinary leave on March 5, days after she approached the General Assembly as an anonymous whistleblower. On Tuesday, Governor Ralph Northam’s Chief of Staff Clark Mercer said the lawsuit was motivated by politics and criticized the OSIG report. Read More
Pete Snyder announced his ‘Honest Vote’ election integrity plan on Thursday. The six-point plan focuses on transparency ballot verification and ballot verification measures.
“Having secure, legal, and trustworthy elections is something that we must demand in our Commonwealth. Unfortunately, for too many Virginians, whether they be Republicans, Democrats or independents, trust in our election system has been severely strained and due to many last minute Covid-related changes to our voting systems,” Snyder said in a press release. Read More
GOP gubernatorial candidates Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Peter Doran, Sergio de la Peña, and Glenn Youngkin met on Zoom on Thursday evening to answer policy questions about school reform, fixing Virginia’s tax code, improving broadband access, and making Virginia more veteran friendly. The New Mission PAC hosted the forum. PAC founder Daniel Gade and former Delegate Chris Saxman asked the questions in a format designed to allow candidates to demonstrate policy positions without engaging in direct debate. Read More
More gubernatorial polls this week show most voters are undecided, allowing contest leaders to continue to claim front-runner status while allowing everybody else to claim theoretical wins. But there’s more gubernatorial news than that — this week’s campaign news features new policy announcements, major endorsements, messaging controversy, and a late-night television mention.
First, the poll: 49 percent of Democratic voters and 55 percent of Republican voters are undecided, according to a Christoper Newport University/Wason Center Poll. Former Governor Terry McAuliffe leads Democrats with 26 percent, while Senator Amanda Chase leads Republicans with 17 percent. Read More
Governor Ralph Northam released an amended Executive Order 72 that allows outdoor sports to have up to 250 spectators or 30 percent of venue capacity, whichever is less, effective Monday. The February 17 amendment modifies language that previously allowed just two guests per player, up to 30 percent of venue capacity. Indoor sports are still limited to 25 persons per field. Read More
An independent YouGov gubernatorial poll of 508 internet respondents was released Friday. Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) leads the GOP pack with 19 percent, with Pete Snyder at 10 percent and Delegate Kirk Cox at six percent. In the poll, first reported by The Virginia Scope, former Governor Terry McAuliffe leads Democratic candidates with 33 percent. The other leading Democratic candidates are well behind McAuliffe and are effectively tied given a five percent margin of error. Jennifer Carroll Foy and Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) come in at six percent each, with Delegate Lee Carter (D-Manassas) just behind at five percent and Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax at four percent. Both races are still marked by high amounts of undecided voters. Read More
As the 2021 campaigns accelerate, Virginia’s GOP gubernatorial candidates have started to pick up some big name endorsements, including from two former governors for Delegate Kirk Cox and from influential grassroots organizer Martha Boneta for Pete Snyder.
“Pete is the trusted, proven conservative that we need to battle career politicians in Richmond that failed us when we needed them most. I want all Republicans to support Pete for governor,” Boneta said in her endorsement Thursday. Read More
Governor Ralph Northam wants Virginia’s schools to provide in-person learning options by March 15, one year and two days after first ordering schools to close on March 13, 2020. On Friday, the governor sent a letter to school districts instructing them to provide in-person options and encouraged the schools to develop learning-loss mitigation strategies. Read More
Virginia’s Democratic leadership is finally starting to call for a return to in-person learning, but gubernatorial candidate Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) is calling for immediate next steps to address learning losses caused by virtual learning. In a Thursday press conference, Cox laid out his proposals, including expanding availability of tutors, assessing learning loss, and providing financial support to parents for remedial materials. Read More
Gubernatorial candidate Pete Snyder announced Tuesday his Open Our Schools tour, where he will visit local Open Our Schools activists across the Commonwealth. Snyder said opening schools in November would be too late, and called for immediate action. Read More
The Virginia House of Delegates voted 63 to 34 on Wednesday to remove to storage the statue of former Democratic Governor Harry Byrd Sr. from Capitol Square. Byrd served as governor for four years from 1926-1930, and as Senator from 1933 until 1965. He wielded extensive political power which he used to oppose the New Deal and civil rights legislation. His legacy has come under fire in part because he advocated “Massive Resistance,” an effort to block school desegregation mandated by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. Read More
Governor Ralph Northam approved the Permanent COVID-19 Workplace Safety and Health Standards, which replace the expiring COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard. The standard requires Virginia businesses to develop COVID-19 safety strategies much like other workplace safety requirements. Read More
Former business executive and political outsider, Glenn Youngkin has officially joined the 2021 Virginia governor’s race seeking the Republican nomination.
Youngkin, 54, made the formal announcement through an online statement and campaign video released on Wednesday. Read More
Republican gubernatorial candidates Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) and Senator Amanda Chase welcomed Pete Snyder into the nomination race Tuesday.
“Look forward to working with you again Pete. Welcome to the race,” Chase tweeted, posting a picture of Snyder working in her 2019 campaign office.
Cox tweeted, “I’d like to welcome Pete Snyder to the 2021 gubernatorial race. It’s my firm belief that competition is a good thing — and I look forward to a robust discussion in which Virginia Republicans can choose the proven candidate that can best unify the party and lead Virginia forward.” Read More
Virginia 30 Day Fund founder Pete Snyder announced Tuesday that he is running for governor. Snyder is experienced as a social media entrepreneur, investor, and political operative. He’s positioning himself as the answer to problems caused in 2020 by Governor Ralph Northam and the Democrat-led General Assembly.
“We have faced the biggest crisis that we’ve seen in over 100 years, and our leadership in Richmond has absolutely failed us,” Snyder told The Virginia Star.
Failing businesses, closed schools, criminal justice reforms, and a loss of First and Second Amendment rights are the issues the entrepreneur said are fueling his campaign in 2021. Read More
Delegate Kirk Cox’s House bill limiting the length of executive orders will likely die in committee after a Public Safety subcommittee recommended tabling the bill. HB 2087, if passed, would limit the length of Governor Ralph Northam’s executive orders to just 45 days unless the General Assembly passes an… Read More
With Virginia’s statewide elections for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general drawing ever closer, candidates’ campaign finance reports literally show who has been busy fundraising, but can also offer an early glimpse of their viability in the races.
On Saturday, year-end fundraising reports, covering the second half of last year from July 1st to December 31st, for each statewide candidate were released to the public. The Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) compiled the numbers and listed the cash on hand for each candidate. Read More
Speaking in a mostly empty House of Delegates Chamber on Wednesday night, Governor Ralph Northam delivered an optimistic State of the Commonwealth address. In the live-streamed speech, Northam acknowledged the suffering caused by COVID-19 and an economic downturn, but highlighted stories of heroic Virginians from the past year. He touted the progress Virginia’s government made towards progressive goals in 2020, and called for more change. Read More
Former business executive and multi-millionaire Glenn Youngkin is planning to join the Virginia governor’s race as a Republican candidate and expected to make an official announcement soon, according to reporting from The Washington Post.
Youngkin, 54, would be the third GOP candidate to declare for the 2021 election and the only conservative hopeful with no experience running for or holding elected office. Read More
Former Trump official Sergio de la Peña announced Monday that he’s entering the race to be the Republican nominee for Virginia governor. de la Peña served 30 years in the Army, where he reached the rank of colonel. He also served as Trump’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and he says that experience will set him apart from the suddenly crowded field of GOP gubernatorial candidates. Read More
Virginia State Delegate Lee J. Carter (D-Manassas) officially joined the governor’s race last Friday and is now part of the crowded Democratic field vying for the party nomination this summer.
Carter, 33, is the fifth Democrat to seek the Executive Mansion next November and had originally filed paperwork to raise money for a gubernatorial bid last month. Read More
GOP candidate for governor and Virginia State Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) reportedly said Tuesday he does not stand with Republicans in Congress who plan to object to the Electoral College votes and that Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States.
Cox’s reported comments were shared by Daniel Grimes, a reporter and weekend anchor for NBC29 in Charlottesville, in a post on Twitter. Read More
Community activist and mental health advocate Princess Blanding, whose brother was fatally shot by Richmond Police in 2018, announced her entrance into the 2021 Virginia governor’s race on Tuesday as a third-party candidate, joining a group of hopefuls featuring former and current state politicians.
Blanding, 38, will be running as an independent candidate under the Liberation Party, whose mission to advance equity by uplifting traditionally underserved and oppressed communities, according to a press release. Read More
As the 2021 elections inch closer and begin to dominate almost all political talk in the Commonwealth, Sen. Emmett Hanger (R-Augusta) is still exploring a potential run to become the 74th governor of Virginia.
Hanger, 72, recently discussed the gubernatorial election and the difficulty of securing the GOP nomination in an interview with The Virginia Star. Read More
After Governor Ralph Northam made a number of proposals to the state’s biennial budget on Wednesday, several Republican legislators rebuked the Democrat’s recommendation to expand the Virginia Court of Appeals and claimed he was trying to pack the court.
Northam presented his budget proposals during a virtual meeting with the House of Delegates and Senate appropriation committees. Read More
Former Governor Terry McAuliffe officially entered Virginia’s 2021 gubernatorial election on Wednesday after months of educated speculation that the long-time Democrat would throw his name into the contest and seek another four years in the Executive Mansion.
McAuliffe, 63, made the announcement during a press conference in front of Miles Jerome Jones Elementary School in Richmond’s southside that was streamed live to his Facebook page. Read More
Virginia State Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) is now planning to run for governor in the 2021 election as an independent candidate.
The decision comes after the Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee voted 41-28 on Saturday to hold a convention instead of a primary to nominate the party’s candidates for the 2021 races, according to previous reporting from The Virginia Star. Read More
State Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield), a Republican gubernatorial candidate for 2021, called the Democratic Party of Virginia racist and said that the group hates white people.
On Friday night, Chase posted the statement to her Facebook page in response to an article about Virginia Democrats calling for Richmond General Registrar J. Kirk Showalter to either be removed from the position or to resign on her own. Read More
Tuesday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host John Fredricks welcomed former Virginia Speaker of the House of Delegates Kirk Cox to the show to announce his run for Virginia Governor and how he aims to win. Read More
If elected governor, Justin Fairfax is determined to bring the Commonwealth and its residents out from underneath the current issues plaguing Virginia brought forth by the coronavirus pandemic and a destructive political landscape.
Last month Lt. Gov. Fairfax officially announced his entrance into the 2021 gubernatorial election, hoping to follow in the footsteps of former state governor L. Douglas Wilder and become the second black man elected to the Executive Mansion. Read More
Virginia delegates are evaluating a potential bill for the 2021 regular session that would increase funding for abortions under Medicaid and require individual businesses to include abortions in their insurance plans. A House subcommittee met on Tuesday to discuss House Bill (HB) 1445 and hear public comment on the bill. Planned Parenthood and NARAL representatives offered comment, as well as the Virginia Society for Human Life President Olivia Turner. Read More