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Wason Survey Says 2016 Presidential Candidates Will Have To Build New Virginia Coalition

As Virginia emerges as a key battleground state in the Presidential election, the Wason Center says it will take more than just loyal Democrats or Republicans to turn the tide. 

The Wason Center for Public Policy says candidates will have to build a coaltion from seven distinct voter groups.

Quentin Kid, Director, says the Democrats will have to build a new coaltion to repeat their wins in 2008 and 2012.

House and Senate Republican Leaders Reject Compromise on Redistricting

Virginia’s Speaker of the House Bill Howell and Republican Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment have declined Governor McAuliffe’s request to meet to forge a compromise on court ordered redistricting of some of Virginia’s congressional maps.

The Republican leaders say the meeting is premature as they have requested an extension to the September 1st deadline set by a federal court to redraw the maps.

Governor McAuliffe has called a special session of the General Assembly for August 17th to redraw Virginia’s 3rd congressional district.

New Poll Shows Hillary Clinton Trailing Republicans in VA

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Hillary Clinton narrowly trailing leading Republican candidates in several key swing states including Virginia.

The poll of nearly 1,200 voters in Virginia, Iowa and Colorado shows Clinton is losing ground to Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Scott Walker vs. a similar poll conducted 3 months ago where she held 7-8 point leads over the same candidates. In Virginia she remains mostly within the margin of error. In Colorado and Iowa she trails the same candidates by 5-8 points.

Bagby Wins Special Election for Morrissey’s Seat

Henrico County School Board Member Lamont Bagby has won the 74th district special election to replace former Delegate Joe Morrissey in a landslide with nearly 85% of the vote.

Last month Bagby won the 3-way Democratic primary to run for the seat in the Nov. 3 general election. Last night (7/21) he handily defeated Independent David Lambert, the son of former Democratic State Senator Benjamin Lambert.

McAuliffe Announces International Trade Alliance

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced on Wednesday (7/15) the creation of the Virginia International Trade Alliance (VITAL).

VITAL will work with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) to increase international trade in Virginia.

Goals of VITAL over the next five years include growing Virginia exports by over $1.5 billion dollars, as well as creating 14,000 new trade-supported jobs.

The Governor says expanding trade is a must.

McAuliffe Recalls General Assembly To Redraw Congressional District

Governor Terry McAuliffe is calling the General Assembly back to Richmond on August 17th for a special session to redraw Virginia’s 3rd congressional district boundaries.

A court had ordered the maps be redrawn by September 1, 2015 after they found the House Republican authored plan packed black voters in the 3rd district, weakening their voting power in surrounding ones.

Coy says the Governor will adjust that date should the court agree to extend the September 1st deadline they issued 2 months ago.

Lobbyist Spending on Entertainment is Down

Virginia lobbyists spent roughly 16 percent less on drinks, meals and entertainment for state lawmakers over the last 6-month reporting period than before Governor Bob McDonnell’s indictment on corruption charges.

A new report compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project found the total number of entertainment dollars down to $456,000 from $541,000 two years ago.

Some lawmakers, staff and lobbyists appear to be taking greater care to report the gifts that they receive.

McDonnell Supporters Seek Donations To Continue Appeals

Supporters of former Governor McDonnell have issued an urgent appeal for donations to his legal defense fund.

They say his lawyers will pursue the fight to overturn his convictions, after a three-judge panel of the appeals court upheld his convictions Friday (7/10)

A non-profit defense effort was set up in 2013, raised about $335,000 and spent $283,000 through the end of last year. 

Republican Delegate Chris Jones Defends House District Boundaries in Court

The Republican Delegate who drew the House of Delegates redistricting plan in 2011 took to the witness stand in Alexandria yesterday (7/8) to defend his work, saying race was just one of many factors used to set the boundaries.

The plaintiffs in the case allege that Jones unnecessarily packed black voters into the 12 districts in question, diluting their voting power in the surrounding ones.

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