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Blue Ridge Caucus


Recent Articles

Friday 11/20/2015
Posted: November 20, 2015 - 9:00 am
GOP senators praise leadership compromise

The compromise struck in Thursday's fraught Virginia Senate GOP Caucus leadership decision was the product of weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations.

Tuesday 11/17/2015
Updated: November 17, 2015 - 2:53 pm
Carter Turner, Roanoke County Democratic chairman, won't seek second term

Carter Turner, chairman of the Roanoke County Democratic Committee, announced this week he won't seek another two-year term when the local leadership posts come up for reappointment in December.

Monday 11/09/2015
Updated: November 09, 2015 - 12:12 pm
Sen. Mark Warner among top 10 richest in Congress

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner edged into the No. 4 spot — up from No. 5 last year — in Roll Call's annual rankings of the wealthiest members of Congress.

Tuesday 11/03/2015
Posted: November 03, 2015 - 8:41 am
Crystal Spring Baptist Church polling

I visited Crystal Spring Baptist Church when polls first opened this morning at 6 a.m. and saw election officers dealing with computer laptop crashing issues. A handful of voters (about 5-6) waited in line.

Posted: November 03, 2015 - 4:18 pm
Analysis: Early Republican trend in Roanoke disappears by 4 p.m.

At 10 a.m., we were seeing a turn-out in Roanoke that sharply favored Republicans — with the GOP-heavy precincts accounting for a higher-than-usual percentage of the vote.

Posted: November 03, 2015 - 11:54 am
Analysis: Early voting trends in Roanoke favor Republicans

Updated 2:23 p.m. — see note in bold below.

Posted: November 03, 2015 - 1:15 pm
Roanoke wrestles with Election Day technology woes as voters are slow to turn out

Voter turnout hit 8.5 percent in Roanoke and 12 percent in Roanoke County by 10 a.m., according to midmorning reports from local registrars.

Monday 11/02/2015
Posted: November 02, 2015 - 12:00 pm
The governor cleans his plate during Texas Tavern stop

Corey Fitzgerald saw his opportunity, and he took it.

Friday 10/30/2015
Posted: October 30, 2015 - 9:00 am
LISTEN: Senate contenders speak on radio WFIR

The elections are just days away and if you're looking to do some last-minute boning up on the contenders for state Senate, WFIR has a new series of candidate interviews.

Posted: October 30, 2015 - 7:00 pm
UPDATED: McAuliffe hitting Roanoke on Sunday to rally voters in Senate race

UPDATE (3:20 p.m. Friday):

Thursday 10/29/2015
Posted: October 29, 2015 - 12:23 pm
What Dye could do with PAC's dirty money

On today's editorial page, we make the case that the infamous mailers from the conservative Middle Resolution PAC purporting to show Democrat John Edwards as a "conservative" go beyond being just a dirty trick to confuse left-of-center voters.

Wednesday 10/28/2015
Posted: October 28, 2015 - 2:30 pm
Where to watch in Roanoke: GOP presidential debate edition

The Republican contenders for president will gather tonight for their third debate. Host CNBC will air it live and offer a livestream — but only for cable subscribers.

Posted: October 28, 2015 - 1:30 pm
Edwards, Rasoul vow to introduce minimum wage increase bill

One week before Election Day, Sen. John Edwards rallied supporters and pledged to carry a bill next year to raise the minimum wage.

Posted: October 28, 2015 - 9:45 pm
Democrats urge Republican Nancy Dye to return Middle Resolution PAC money

As a second wave of controversial mailers hit Roanoke, Virginia Democrats pressed Republican Nancy Dye on Wednesday to disavow The Middle Resolution PAC and return a $7,000 donation from the conservative group.

Tuesday 10/27/2015
Posted: October 27, 2015 - 11:00 am
Money watch: How much did the Middle Resolution mailer cost?

The controversial mailer that hit Roanoke mailboxes this weekend cost the conservative Middle Resolution PAC $6,008, according to finance reports compiled by the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project.

Monday 10/26/2015
Posted: October 26, 2015 - 2:00 pm
Nancy Dye receives $100,000 infusion in 21st District

Big money is flowing into the 21st District Senate race at a fast pace as the election enters its final days.

Posted: October 26, 2015 - 9:00 am
Caldwell makes jump to TV in campaign advertising

Independent candidate Donald Caldwell is rolling out a TV commerical his first of the election in the final days of the race to win the 21st District Senate seat.

Friday 10/23/2015
Posted: October 23, 2015 - 11:30 am
GOP group puts another $80,000 into Dye campaign

The Republican State Leadership Committee just invested another $80,000 in Nancy Dye's bid to oust incumbent Democrat Sen. John Edwards in the 21st District race.

Thursday 10/22/2015
Updated: October 22, 2015 - 6:30 pm
Marriage for marriage, a few cities in Western Virginia lead in same-sex unions

Since same-sex marriage was legalized a little over a year ago, Virginia has seen more than 3,500 same-sex unions take place, according to new data released this week by the Virginia Department of Health's Division of Vital Records.

Wednesday 10/21/2015
Posted: October 21, 2015 - 2:15 pm
Planned Parenthood: Where do the 19th District candidates stand?

In response to a forum question last week, Democrat Mike Hamlar expressed strong support for Planned Parenthood, which has been at the center of political controversy.

Posted: October 21, 2015 - 8:00 pm
Dye signs anti-tax pledge in Senate race

Republican contender Nancy Dye has signed onto the anti-tax increase pledge created by Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform.

Tuesday 10/20/2015
Posted: October 20, 2015 - 3:30 pm
Edwards ad flubs spelling of supporter's name

The Edwards for Virginia Senate commercial that Republicans blasted for missing a required disclosure statement also turns out to have misspelled the name of its chief spokesman — former Virginia Tech admissions staffer Allen Trigger.

Monday 10/19/2015
Posted: October 19, 2015 - 6:00 pm
Energy policy: Where do the 19th District candidates stand?

In today's paper, we delved into some of the issues about energy policy and the federal Clean Power Plan being raised in the 21st District Virginia Senate race.

Thursday 10/15/2015
Posted: October 15, 2015 - 10:00 am
Count the AARP among the groups Nelson doesn't give a hoot for

Independent candidate Steven Nelson won't appear at a forum tonight in Montgomery County, and he offered the following explanation to organizers in an email he shared with The Roanoke Times:

Tuesday 10/13/2015
Posted: October 13, 2015 - 8:00 am
Election deadline: This is last day to register to vote

Public service announcement: Today is the deadline to get registered to vote if you want to cast a ballot in the Nov. 3 elections.

Monday 10/12/2015
Posted: October 12, 2015 - 1:30 pm
Where to watch: Democratic presidential debate edition

The Democratic contenders for president will gather for their first debate Tuesday night. Host CNN will air it live and stream it online for free. Questions from the public can be submitted via Facebook and Instagram.

Saturday 10/10/2015
Posted: October 10, 2015 - 3:30 pm
New River Valley reps slam charter schools and vouchers

Speaking to a crowd braving the drizzly Saturday weather, Sen. John Edwards (D-Roanoke) and Del. Joseph Yost (R-Pearisburg) said in strong terms that Virginia needs to prioritize its public schools over alternative ideas like charter schools and vouchers.

Posted: October 10, 2015 - 8:00 am
Goodlatte for speaker? Roanoke rep says he's not seeking the job

The surprising news that U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was dropping out of the speaker's race inspired an online rallying cry this week among Virginia Republicans who saw one of the commonwealth's own poised to fill the void.

Friday 10/09/2015
Posted: October 09, 2015 - 4:06 pm
Two-thirds of a joint appearance in Salem

Two of the three candidates for the 21st Senate District appeared before the Rotary Club of Salem on Thursday.

Thursday 10/08/2015
Posted: October 08, 2015 - 6:00 am
Goodlatte: House Judiciary leaders to unveil sentencing reform bill

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County, will roll out a sentencing reform bill today as part of the committee's larger work on criminal justice issues.

Wednesday 10/07/2015
Posted: October 07, 2015 - 9:00 am
Can't get enough of forums and policy debate? This is the post for you.

In an effort to cater to our blog's target audience of policy and politics fanatics, here are a few odds and ends that didn't make it into the article about Tuesday night's candidate forum.

Posted: October 07, 2015 - 3:30 pm
Bowers backs Clinton campaign

Roanoke Mayor David Bowers is joining up with Hillary Clinton's Virginia Leadership Council in the 2016 race for president, according to Clinton's camp.

Tuesday 10/06/2015
Posted: October 06, 2015 - 7:00 am
On tap tonight: Doubleheader candidate forums

Here's a little public service blog post to let you know about two candidate forums happening tonight:

Monday 10/05/2015
Posted: October 05, 2015 - 12:30 pm
By the Numbers: How do localities stack up on state funding?

In Sunday's newspaper, we touched on the long-brewing belief that Southwest Virginia is too often an afterthought for leaders in Richmond.

Posted: October 05, 2015 - 5:00 pm
There's a pill for that: SNL needles Gilmore and other presidential hopefuls

Saturday Night Live took aim at some of the low-polling presidential contenders last weekend — including former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.

Friday 10/02/2015
Posted: October 02, 2015 - 5:30 pm
Will 73 ex-inmates be released to Roanoke next year?

Recently, Police Chief Chris Perkins said Roanoke may see around 73 ex-federal inmates return to the city in the coming year.

Posted: October 02, 2015 - 9:00 pm
Video: Del. Rasoul dances for charity

The hoofers who took to the stage last weekend to raise some much-needed money for the Salvation Army's Turning Point shelter included Del. Sam Rasoul, D-Roanoke, and his wife, Layaly.

Wednesday 09/30/2015
Posted: September 30, 2015 - 6:42 pm
Virginia Senate leaders will debate live, on the web

Want to see a debate between the Democratic and Republican leaders of Virginia's state Senate? You can on Monday, and all you need is a computer.

Tuesday 09/29/2015
Posted: September 29, 2015 - 5:30 pm
UPDATED: 12th District House candidate files comments opposing pipeline

UPDATE (5:30 p.m. Tuesday):

Posted: September 29, 2015 - 11:30 am
Goodlatte for speaker? Two political observers make the case

Could Roanoke County's own Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R) be tapped to succeed soon-to-retire House Speaker John Boehner?

Thursday 09/24/2015
Posted: September 24, 2015 - 8:00 pm
NRA endorses Edwards in race for Senate

The National Rifle Association is backing Sen. John Edwards in his bid for re-election — a typically attractive political plum in the conservative Southwest; but one that's grown dicier for the Roanoke Democrat amid the emotional debate spurred by last month's WDBJ7 shooting.

Posted: September 24, 2015 - 8:30 pm
Gun violence restraining order: Where do the 21st District candidates stand?

In the days after the WDBJ7 shooting, Alison Parker's father highlighted a General Assembly bill — sometimes called the gun violence restraining order bill — in an impassioned column criticizing the region's pro-gun lawmakers.

Tuesday 09/22/2015
Posted: September 22, 2015 - 6:02 pm
Three thoughts for a Tuesday on the 2016 race

Some random political thoughts:

Monday 09/21/2015
Posted: September 21, 2015 - 6:09 pm
Walker dropped out too soon

Scott Walker dropped out too soon.

Sunday 09/20/2015
Posted: September 20, 2015 - 11:00 am
Meet the first Roanoke voter of the 2015 general elections

Frank Roupas waited patiently for the clock to strike 8.

Friday 09/18/2015
Posted: September 18, 2015 - 8:00 pm
UPDATED: TV ads hit 21st District Senate race

UPDATE (8 p.m. Friday):

Wednesday 09/16/2015
Posted: September 16, 2015 - 10:30 am
Partisan sparks fly at 21st District Senate forum

PEARISBURG — A forum that organizers intended to be low intensity and low confrontation took a turn Tuesday night when Republican activists squared off with the Democratic and independent candidates for the 21st District Senate seat.

Tuesday 09/15/2015
Posted: September 15, 2015 - 5:33 pm
Gilmore needs a rap

Poor Jim Gilmore isn't doing so well. Some candidates are bummed when they didn't make the cut for the "big" debate. Gilmore didn't even qualify for the "kids table" debate this time around.

Posted: September 15, 2015 - 3:30 pm
Where can you watch Wednesday's presidential debate?

As you've probably heard by now, CNN is hosting a presidential debate for Republican Party hopefuls on Wednesday night.

Posted: September 15, 2015 - 8:00 am
Preserve Giles to kick off candidate forums tonight with 21st District Senate race

Preserve Giles County, an anti-pipeline citizens group, is kicking off a series of candidate forums tonight with the 21st District Virginia Senate seat.

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