virginia

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers are set to meet in Richmond for a special session so they can comply with a court order to redraw the state's legislative map.

Members of the Virginia House and Senate will convene at noon Thursday. The special session comes after a federal court in June found that 11 House of Delegates districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered. The court ordered lawmakers to redraw the state map by Oct. 30.

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(AP) The son of a powerful Republican congressman has lambasted his father on Twitter for "ruining" the career of a recently fired FBI agent.

Bobby Goodlatte targeted his father, Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, on Twitter after Monday's news that the FBI fired Peter Strzok. The agent had sent anti-Trump text messages during the Russia investigation.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia primary voters are set to narrow the field of candidates in a variety of federal and local races.

Among the contests on the ballot Tuesday is that for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Three candidates are facing off for the chance to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, who does not have a primary opponent.

There are also primaries in nine congressional races, some in both parties. The most crowded is the Democratic race for the 10th District in northern Virginia.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers finished up the 2018 session Saturday without doing their most important job: passing a state budget.

They hit a stalemate because Republicans legislators can't agree on whether to expand Medicaid to about 300,000 low-income adults.

The GOP-controlled House backs it, while the Republican-led Senate opposes it. Lawmakers will go home while negotiations continue. The state government will shut down July 1 if no budget is passed.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The recent federal tax overhaul probably means Virginia will collect more state tax revenue - but from whom and how much are still unknown.

Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne told lawmakers Wednesday that the impact of the federal tax changes is so complicated that the state needs an outside consultant and a couple more months to figure it all out.

The changes affect taxes incurred this year but possibly paid next year.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. Senate has passed a bill granting federal recognition to six American Indian tribes in Virginia, a move that makes the tribes eligible for federal money for education, housing and health care.

The bill will now be sent to the president's desk. It gives the Rappahannock, Monacan, Nansemond, Upper Mattaponi, Chickahominy and Eastern Chickahominy tribes a status they have sought for two decades. Many of the members of the tribes are descendants of Pocahontas' Virginia Powhatan tribe.

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - The Democrat has conceded to the Republican in the race for Virginia's 94th District House seat.

Shelly Simonds used Twitter to announce her concession to Del. David Yancey on Wednesday.

Her concession came more than two months after November's hotly contested election. Her decision followed a recount that she appeared to win by one vote, a court's decision to declare a tie and the drawing of names from a bowl that she lost.

Simonds said she didn't "see any legal pathways forward and I want representation for the 94th district today."

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia General Assembly is set to kick off its 2018 session.

Lawmakers will officially convene at noon Wednesday, and a host of new faces will fill the House of Delegates, where Democrats picked up 15 seats in the November elections.

Later in the day, outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe will give his final State of the Commonwealth address.

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - Democratic voters are making their case for a new election in a tight race that could force a 50-50 split in Virginia's House of Delegates.

They say their disenfranchisement was far from a garden-variety election error.

Republican Bob Thomas beat Democrat Joshua Cole by 73 votes, but elections officials say 147 voters received the wrong ballots.

On Friday, a judge in Alexandria rejected the request for a new election, saying the ballot errors amount to "garden-variety irregularities."

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - More people are moving out of Virginia than they are moving to the Old Dominion.

The Daily Progress reports that Virginia has seen higher numbers of people leaving the state than moving in since 2013, according to University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

The state's population isn't shrinking thanks to new births. But the trend of more people leaving than moving in is a reversal of demographic patterns dating back to the Great Depression, said research specialist Hamilton Lombard.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Democratic tidal wave in Virginia on Election Day three weeks ago has left chaos in its wake, with control of the House of Delegates still far from being decided.

The Republicans went from a commanding majority to an apparent 51-49 lead, with GOP candidates clinging to razor-thin leads in three districts. In one of those races, where the Republican is ahead by just 82 votes, an apparent error by a recently deceased registrar led to 147 voters casting their ballots in the wrong district.

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Democrat Ralph Northam swept to victory by a margin of 53 percent for 45 percent over his Republican challenger Ed Gillespie in yesterday’s gubernatorial election in Virginia

After an acrimonious race the Democrat told supporters last night that he will seek to be a healer of divisions and political rancor when he takes office.

Northam said in his victory speech that the eyes of the nation were on Virginia on Election Tuesday.

He said that voters had told political leaders to end the divisiveness and bigotry.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Tuesday is the last day Virginia voters can ask for an absentee ballot to be mailed to them.

Voters have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to request a ballot for the Nov. 7 election.

Virginia is one of only two states electing a new governor this year. Republican Ed Gillespie, Democrat Ralph Northam and Libertarian Cliff Hyra are vying to replace outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who cannot seek a second term.

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ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - The lieutenant governor's race in Virginia features a Republican who is doing everything she can to differentiate herself from the rest of the party. Her opponent says she can't run away from her conservative record.

Democrat Justin Fairfax, a former federal prosecutor, and Republican Jill Vogel, a state senator from Fauquier County, are running for lieutenant governor in next month's election. The post offers few formal duties other than breaking ties in the state Senate. But it invariably serves as a launching post for future gubernatorial runs.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The nation's first elected black governor says improving education is more important than spending tax money to remove Confederate monuments.

Former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder said during an interview on C-SPAN Thursday his election in 1989 showed how Virginia had changed. He said the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in August does not represent the city or the state.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A group that advocates for stricter gun laws says it will pump at least $1 million into state races in Virginia.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund is donating $450,000 to the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam. It also plans to spend another $250,000 on campaign mailers to support him.

The group is also giving $300,000 to Attorney General Mark Herring for his re-election bid. The Democrat is facing attacks ads from the National Rifle Association.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia has the fewest number of inmates on death row since July 1979, shortly after it resumed carrying out the penalty following a 1972 Supreme Court ruling that halted executions across the U.S.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Tuesday that Virginia has four death row inmates and none have been added in more than five years. As of April only six of the 31 states that carry out executions had fewer death row inmates.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Trump effect is having an early impact on the 2018 contests for Congress.

Virginia Democrats are lining up to run for Congress, motivated by their opposition to the president. And a Trump-like Republican is promising to run a "vicious, ruthless" U.S. Senate campaign next year that Trump supporters will relish.

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Governor Larry Hogan was in Salisbury for a luncheon where he told Delmarva Public Radio that he was frustrated by the plans on Capitol Hill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

During a luncheon in Salisbury he told Delmarva Public Radio that he had urged the state’s Maryland congressional delegation to seek compromise on reforming the Affordable Care Act.

As for the Senate bill the Maryland Republican said he did not believe that it would serve the interests of the state residents.

Don Rush

Virginia voters have begun casting their votes in the state's closely watched primary contests for governor that could be an early referendum on President Donald Trump.

Polls in Tuesday's primary races are open until 7 p.m.

The Democratic primary contest has been a hard fought battle between Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the state party establishment's favorite, and insurgent candidate Tom Perriello. Both candidates have pledged fierce opposition to Trump and his policies.

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GOOCHLAND, Va. (AP) - The front-runner for the Republican nomination in Virginia's closely watched governor's race is expressing discomfort with series of vulgar and predatory comments about women President Donald Trump made in a recording 12 years ago.

Ed Gillespie said at a Republican debate Saturday in Goochland that he was offended by comments from a 2005 Access Hollywood tape in which Trump boasted about groping women.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland members of the Electoral College are meeting in Annapolis to cast their votes.

State Board of Elections spokeswoman Donna Duncan says the 10 electors are meeting at 1 p.m. Monday in the Maryland State House.

They're required by law to vote for the presidential and vice presidential candidates who received the plurality of votes cast in the state in the Nov. 8 general election.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe is set to lay out his proposed amendments to Virginia's two-year state budget.

The Democratic governor will address a joint meeting of the General Assembly's money committees on Friday.

McAuliffe announced a $1.5 billion budget shortfall this summer, which forced him to scrap planned raises for state employees and ask agency directors to plan for cuts.

The governor said late last month that the economy is improving enough to avoid some of the toughest budget cuts being considered, but didn't discuss specifics.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said the state's economy is improving and he won't have to cut as much from the state budget as previously thought.
    
McAuliffe told reporters that he and other state officials are "cautiously optimistic" about the direction of the state's economy, in part because of an increase in state payroll tax revenues in recent months.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia state lawmakers are forming a new panel to monitor changes in federal health care policy under President-elect Donald Trump.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that House Appropriations Chairman S. Chris Jones and Senate Finance Co-Chairman Emmett W. Hanger Jr. are creating the panel to help lawmakers prepare for the changes to, or the repeal of, the Affordable Care Act.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - AAA is projecting that 1.3 million Virginians will travel 50 miles or more from home for the Thanksgiving holiday, the most travelers in Virginia since 2007.

AAA said in a statement Tuesday that its projected number is an increase of nearly 50,000 since last year.

AAA defines the Thanksgiving holiday travel period as Nov. 23 to Nov. 27. AAA says about 90 percent of Virginians are expected to travel by automobile, 7 percent by air and 2 percent by other means.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Department of Elections says nearly 28,000 people registered to vote during a brief extension of the state's voter-registration deadline.

A federal judge granted the deadline's extension Thursday after heavy demand prevented some voters from registering online. U.S. Senior Judge Claude Hilton had ordered officials to reopen voter registration in the commonwealth and keep it open until 11:59 p.m. Friday.

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McLEAN, Va. (AP) - Republican congressional candidates in Virginia are trying to mollify the pro-Trump and anti-Trump wings in their party as political pundits say Democrats' chances of picking up multiple seats in the commonwealth are increasing.

The GOP currently controls eight of Virginia's 11 House seats. Handicappers say Democrats' prospects are increasing as Hillary Clinton has built a wide lead over Donald Trump in Virginia.

Women in Politics

Jul 25, 2016
Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland has been among leading states in electing women to political offices for decades, but the state could have its first all-male congressional delegation in more than 40 years unless at least one of two Republicans or a third-party candidate wins in November in the heavily Democratic state.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The drug fentanyl caused more deaths in Virginia last year than any other prescription painkiller.

The Richmond Times Dispatch reports that the number of deaths caused by fentanyl rose from 48 in 2007 to 134 in 2014. Last year, the death was linked to an estimated 221 deaths in the state.

That's more than any other opioid besides heroin.

Fentanyl is prescribed by doctors and comes in a patch that's placed on the skin. Addicts have learned to isolate the drug from the patch and snort or inject the drug.

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