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Politics

4 Republicans Seek 12th Senate District Seat

The 12th district Senate race is one of the most competitive primaries in central Virginia. Four Republicans are seeking the nomination to succeed retiring Senator Walter Stosch of Henrico.

Siobhan Dunnavant is a physician and the sister of Delegate Chris Stolle and former Senator Ken Stolle.

Bill Janis is the former Deputy Commissioner for the Virginia Department of Veterans Affairs. He’s also an attorney and former Delegate.

Both have raised over $100,000 for their campaigns.

McAuliffe Signs Education Bills

Governor Terry McAuliffe signed several education reform bills in Charlottesville today (6/3).

Two bills will expedite the SOL retake process to two days for children who fail to pass the test by a close margin.

A third bill will reward schools who have narrowly fallen short of accreditation if they’ve made significant progress.

McAuliffe says he now wants his SOL Innovation and Reform Commission to look at improving how the tests measure critical thinking and workforce skills.

Howell Has Large Cash Advantage Over Opponent In Primary

Virginia House Speaker William Howell has a dominant cash advantage over his tea party rival in the June 9th primary election.

Howell’s campaign said yesterday (6/1) that it had raised more than $550,000 this reporting period.

A spokesman for his opponent, Susan Stimpson, says she has raised about $28,000.

Stimpson is a former political protégé, who has accused Howell of abandoning his conservative beliefs in favor of serving deep pocketed special interests.

Should ABC Enforce Alcohol Laws?

In March, ABC agents violently arrested Martese Johnson, a 20-year-old black student at UVA, outside of a Charlottesville bar. He was charged with misdemeanor counts of obstruction, using profane language and public intoxication.

According to data from the ABC department, 85% of the suspects in such cases were taken into custody. For incidents of marijuana possession, suspects were taken into custody only 11% of the time.

Scott on Sidelines in Redistricting Battle

A legal battle is raging over whether Third District Congressman Bobby Scott’s District has too many black voters, but so far, the Congressman himself has not gotten involved. 

The Third is 56% black, a jagged line from Portsmouth to Richmond drawn in 2012 by the Republican-controlled General Assembly.

Democrats went to federal court to block it, and a panel of federal judges is now considering whether to force the legislature to redraw the district.

It could affect surrounding districts that are majority white. But Scott himself has not gotten involved.

DA Says Evidence Was Enough to Convict M. McDonnell

Federal prosecutors says there is easily enough evidence to support former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell’s public corruption conviction.

In court filings yesterday (5/28), prosecutors told the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals that it is clear McDonnell took illegal steps to benefit a wealthy vitamin executive who lavished her and her husband with low-interest loans and expensive gifts.

Sexual Assault Task Force Recommendations

The Governor’s Task Force on Campus Safety and Sexual Assault issued its final recommendations May 28.

The taskforce recommends directing each university to establish a comprehensive response policy informed by students faculty, experts in mental health, substance abuse and sexual violence. The idea is to allow each college to design a system that works best for them but also allow them to learn from what other schools are doing.

Attorney General Mark Herring chaired the task force.

Sex Assault Task Force Recommends Technology

The Governor’s Task Force on Campus Safety and Sexual Assault issued its final recommendations yesterday (5/28).

Attorney General Mark Herring says the group worked to remove barriers to reporting assaults in a variety of ways, such as using online reporting, apps and info graphics to make it easier for students to report and understand the process.

63rd House District Democratic Forum

All five candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for the 63rd House of Delegates seat participated in a forum at Virginia State University moderated by 88.9 WCVE’s Craig Carper.

The candidates took audience questions on the state’s role in job creation, declining enrollments at historically black colleges and universities and the local composite index, the formula by which schools are funded in Virginia.

Gerry Rawlinson says she’s a proven leader with a 20-year track record as an owner of several home healthcare businesses and registered nurse for over 33 years.

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