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Most Read Articles Nov. 28, 2023


VPAP Visual Loss of Institutional Knowledge

The Virginia Public Access Project

When the General Assembly convenes in January, the number of legislators with fewer than five years of service will be at its highest point in the past 16 years. Retirements and election defeats of senior members will leave both bodies with fewer experienced legislators than they have had in recent years. Both the Senate and House of Delegates faced record turnover this cycle, caused by newly drawn districts that did not consider incumbents’ addresses, pairing many legislators together and forcing them to retire, move, or run against their colleagues in primaries or general elections. See the range of legislators' experience over the past 16 years in VPAP's latest visual.


Lynch: Democrats should temper their enthusiasm: In this election, Republicans overperformed

By EDWARD A. LYNCH, published in Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Virginia Democrats won a tremendous victory on Election Day, holding onto their Senate majority and flipping the House of Delegates. Democratic spokesmen around the country are crowing over the victory and writing the political obituary of Gov. Glenn Youngkin. (The Washington Monthly headlined their election coverage: “Glenn Youngkin’s Big Fat 15-Week Abortion Ban Belly Flop“). But the razor-thin majorities the Democrats gained in the General Assembly election obscure some pertinent facts about the 2023 election and what it portends for 2024.

Lynch is a professor of political science at Hollins University in Roanoke.


Shakeup at behavioral health agency to cost deputy commissioner his job

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

A deputy commissioner of behavioral health will lose his job as part of a reorganization of the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. Commissioner Nelson Smith told department employees earlier this month that he will eliminate the job of deputy commissioner for administrative services, held by Cort Kirkley, who has been with the department for nearly five years after a career that included high-ranking finance positions at the former Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Medical Society of Virginia and the Rockbridge Area Community Services Board.


GOP Casino Bill Backer Linked To Developer's Family, Chamber Lobbyist


Among the many campaign donations made during recent legislative races, one from NOVABizPAC, the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee, to the southwestern Virginia lawmaker who introduced a casino bill has come to light. NOVABizPAC contributed $500 on May 23 to the campaign of Del. Wren Williams (R-Stuart), according to campaign finance reports filed with the State Board of Elections. The NOVABizPAC lobbyist who authorized the donation was Nick Clemente, the son of Christopher Clemente, CEO of Comstock Companies. Patch reported in September that Comstock was seeking to build a casino at or near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.


Lost WWII soldier’s Bible, found after D-Day, given to Va. memorial

By MICHAEL E. RUANE, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

In the summer of 1944, Macie and John Hoback, who lived on a farm outside Bedford, Va., were in mourning. Two of their sons, Raymond, 24, and Bedford, 30, had been killed during the D-Day invasion of France on June 6. Bedford’s body had been found. Raymond was missing in action and would later be declared dead. The family was devastated, along with much of the small community in south-central Virginia. Eighteen other Bedford men also had been killed that day.


Yancey: State report says welfare programs help get people jobs but those jobs don’t get them out of poverty

By DWAYNE YANCEY, Cardinal News

Something’s not working. That’s the simple takeaway from my reading of a 191-page report released last month by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission on “Virginia’s Self-Sufficiency Programs and the Availability and Affordability of Child Care.” The main news coverage of the report dealt with the child care portion of the report; you can read what I wrote about that on Monday. Today, I’ll deal, Paul Harvey-style, with the rest of the report, which I’m surprised hasn’t gotten more attention because its findings are so bleak.


Calls grow for UVa to release review of 2022 shooting

By JASON ARMESTO, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

Who exactly is the University of Virginia protecting? That’s among the questions being raised by critics of the school’s decision to withhold an independent, external review documenting the events that led to the murder of three UVa student-athletes on Grounds last year. Attorneys say that releasing the report would not only fulfill the university’s obligation to transparency but would help bring closure to Charlottesville, the victims’ families and perhaps even prevent another tragedy from unfolding in the future.


Va. could get $100M+ lithium-ion battery project


A $100 million-plus lithium-ion battery project could be coming to Virginia, the U.S. Department of Energy announced Monday, but a spokesperson for U.S. Sen. Mark Warner said North Carolina could also be in contention. MP Assets will build a facility to manufacture separators for lithium-ion batteries, bringing 282 permanent jobs and at least a $100 million investment, according to the announcement. The announcement named Virginia but did not identify where the project would be located . . .


Virginia's battleground 7th Congressional District draws a large number of hopefuls

By ELIZABETH BEYER, Progress Index (Metered paywall - 10 articles a month)

The field of Congressional hopefuls aiming to claim Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger's seat in Virginia's 7th District is growing. Nine competitors have filed statements of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission as of Monday morning. That number includes five Republican candidates and one Independent, along with three Democrats who filed within days of Spanberger's announcement that she will not seek re-election.


Woodbridge District Supervisor Margaret Franklin launches 7th Congressional District campaign


Woodbridge District Supervisor Margaret Franklin formally launched her campaign for Virginia's 7th Congressional District on Monday. Franklin is the third Democrat to launch a bid to replace Rep. Abigail Spanberger, who announced earlier this month she will not seek reelection. Instead, Spanberger will make a run at the governor's mansion in 2025.