State and National Government

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Del. David Toscano

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The top Democrat in the Virginia House of Delegates plans to leave his leadership role.

News outlets report House Minority Leader David Toscano has told members of his caucus he’ll step down from his leadership post next year.

Toscano said the demands of being minority leader had grown too intense.

Democrats made dramatic gains in the state House after a wave election last year. But Republicans still hold a 51-49 advantage.

Toscano’s successor could be the next House speaker if Democrats win a majority next year.

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Supreme Court will hear an appeal by Virginia Republicans who are trying to preserve state legislative districts that have been struck down by a lower court as racially discriminatory. The court’s action Tuesday comes in a case involving 11 districts in the Virginia House of Delegates. Democratic voters accused majority Republicans of packing black voters into certain districts to make surrounding districts whiter and more Republican. A three-judge federal court in Virginia ruled 2-1 in June in favor of the Democratic voters and has appointed a redistricting expert to draw a new legislative map. The Supreme Court already has ruled once in the case. Last year, the justices voted 7-1 to throw out an earlier ruling that had upheld the challenged districts.

Photo: Denver Riggleman Facebook

A relative newcomer to politics will represent Virginia’s 5th District in Congress. Denver Riggleman defeated Democrat Leslie Cockburn by seven percentage points. Riggleman says he will try to avoid the harsh tone of the rough-and-tumble campaign as he works within a much-changed Congress. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:

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Sen. Tim Kaine

Incumbent Tim Kaine is headed back to Washington for a second term in the United States Senate. Kaine handily beat his Republican challenger Corey Stewart. The former Virginia governor and running mate of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race says he will continue to take Virginia values to DC. WFIR’s Denise Allen Membreno has more:

11-07 Kaine Stewart wrap 2-WEB

 

Rep. Morgan Griffith

Whatever the extent of any “blue wave” in the country or in Virginia, it certainly hasn’t hit the 9th Congressional District. Republican Congressman Morgan Griffith was re-elected to a fifth term yesterday — and did so by gaining almost two thirds of the vote:

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Griffith defeated Democrat Anthony Flaccavento for a second time; the first was in 2012. The district runs basically from the U.S. 220 corridor westward to the Kentucky and Tennessee lines.

G Marrano photo

UPDATE: Roanoke County saw a bumper crop of early morning voters who often had to wait in long lines. More from WFIR’s Gene Marrano:

11-6 RoCo Turnout Wrap#1-WEB

Anyone in line by 7:00 pm will be able to cast a vote, even if takes past 7:00 to do so.

PREVIOUS: Early indications point to a heavy voter turnout in today’s elections. In Roanoke County, some extra waits — more than 30 minutes this morning, for instance at the Castle Rock precinct near Cave Spring Middle School. The county’s Voter Registrar’s office says one reason for the lines is that voter roll laptops crashed today, so they are now using paper poll books the rest of the day.

 

Photo: Evan Jones

Voters in the Roanoke area will select candidates in one of three Congressional districts in the region: the 5th, 6th and 9th Districts. Voters living in the House of Delegates 8th District will also take part in a special election to fill the seat left vacant when Greg Habeeb left his position in August. Senator Tim Kaine is seeking a second term, facing a challenge from Republican Corey Stewart. There are also two proposed amendments to the Virginia Constitution on the statewide ballot.

 

 

This is election day in Virginia and nationwide as Americans decide which party will control the House of Representatives for the next two years. Several Virginia seats are considered among those as candidates for “flips” to Democrats. While polls continue to project a Democratic majority come January, our political analyst says things may end up closer than those polls predict. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:

11-06 Denton-Election Wrap1-WEB

Voters in the Roanoke area will select candidates in one of three Congressional districts in the region: the 5th, 6th and 9th Districts. Voters living in the House of Delegates 8th District will also take part in a special election to fill the seat left vacant when Greg Habeeb left his position in August. Senator Tim Kaine is seeking a second term, facing a challenge from Republican Corey Stewart.  There are also two proposed amendments to the Virginia Constitution on the statewide ballot.

 

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