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Most Read Articles May 8, 2021


VPAP Visual Why We Don't Know Who is Behind $1 Million Attack Ads

The Virginia Public Access Project

For weeks, the four leading candidates for the GOP nomination for Governor have been hit with a barrage of mailed flyers, emails and text messages. While we know the names of the four PACs behind the attacks, little is known about who is funding the $1 million effort. This visual explains three reasons for the lack of transparency.


VPAP Visual Some GOP Ballots Worth More Than Others

The Virginia Public Access Project

Not all the ballots cast in Saturday's state Republican Party convention will be weighted equally. Under rules used by both parties, each local delegation is assigned a fixed number of delegate votes -- regardless of how many people register and show up on Saturday. For instance, Smyth County has 68 delegate votes, but only 48 county residents registered to participate. If everyone shows up in Smyth, each ballot will be worth 1.4 delegate votes. Conversely, Prince William County has 511 delegate votes and 3,810 certified delegates. If everyone from Prince William shows up, each ballot cast will be weighted a bit more than 1/10th of a delegate vote. This visual looks at the estimated weighted vote of each local GOP unit.


GOP seeks a candidate that can end its exile in Virginia


Few places in the country have moved as quickly toward Democrats as Virginia, where Barack Obama ended his party’s 44-year presidential losing streak just 12 years ago. Republicans have won the governor’s mansion just once since then. And in 2020, the state wasn’t even considered a battleground. The shift has left Republicans in Virginia searching for a path back to power and looking primarily on the right.


How a rural Virginia town came together for an unforgettable pandemic prom

By HANNAH NATANSON, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Prom started off the way all proms do — a bit awkward. A teen with magenta hair plopped down at a corner table and locked eyes with an iPhone screen. Four girls giggled as they rushed to the empty dance floor, while two boys eyed them nervously from the fringes of the room, their hands plunged into rented-tuxedo pockets.


From VPAP Maps, Timeline of COVID-19 in Virginia

The Virginia Public Access Project

Our Virginia COVID-19 dashboard features VDH vaccination data, including what percentage of the state's population has received at least one shot and the number of vaccinations per 100,000 residents in each city and county. Our dashboard also makes it easy to track the latest available data for tests performed, infections, deaths and hospital capacity. There's also a filter for each city and county, plus an exclusive per-capita ZIP Code map. Updated each morning around 10:30 a.m.


As Virginia GOP readies for nominating convention, Trump looms large

By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Republicans will pick their nominees for Virginia governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general Saturday at a novel and unpredictable convention with just one certainty: former president Donald Trump still dominates the GOP in a state where he got walloped. Seven candidates — a modern record — are vying for the gubernatorial nomination in an ­“unassembled” convention, in which party delegates will cast ranked-choice ballots in 39 polling places around the state. The untested format was borne out of coronavirus pandemic restrictions and a protracted game of chicken between rival factions of the state party’s governing board.


Schapiro: Investor Bills goes long on Virginia politics

By JEFF E. SCHAPIRO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

Michael Bills is going long on Virginia politics. “There are voices that deserve to be heard,” said Bills, the Charlottesville hedge fund guy. He, his political action committee (PAC) and his wife, lawyer Sonjia Smith, collectively have given $6.7 million this campaign season to Democratic candidates who share their left-of-center, bright-green agenda, which includes shackling Dominion Energy.


GOP united in ire over energy law in Va. governor's race


Republicans will be picking their nominee for Virginia governor this week, and the GOP candidates generally agree on one thing: They hate the state's new energy law and want to overturn it. There are seven Republican hopefuls vying for the top job, and most have consistently bashed the Virginia Clean Economy Act, major legislation passed last year by the Democratic-majority Legislature and signed by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.


In the shadows of Richmond Raceway, vaccination irony becomes evident

By TOM LAPPAS, Henrico Citizen

The Henrico community that’s proven the most difficult to vaccinate is the one that sits within eyesight of the region’s most successful vaccination hub, where more than 150,000 doses of vaccine have been administered. That irony, though, may not be surprising. The communities adjacent to the Richmond Raceway, where Henrico and Virginia Department of Health officials have been holding mass vaccination events for more than three months and which just this week surpassed that 150,000-vaccination mark, are among the most vulnerable in the county.


Arlington County firefighters allege extreme hazing, fear for their lives


Over a year ago, firefighter EMT recruit Brett Ahern alleged extreme bullying and hazing at the hands of one firefighter who was an instructor with the Arlington County Fire Department’s Training Academy. “He went out of his way to make a spectacle out of me and that usually wasn’t done with other recruits, at least not as brazenly as it was with me,” he said.