Local Government

A group of local candidates and the Commonwealth are battling it out in federal court over whether a Virginia election law violates the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.  At issue is a statute that requires the political party affiliations of federal and state candidates to be listed next to their names on election ballots—while omitting the same for candidates who run for local offices. The candidates are asking the court to temporarily block November’s ballots from being printed until the law’s constitutionality is decided.

Local government leaders across Virginia are keeping an eye on a disagreement between the City of Buena Vista and ACA Financial Guaranty of New York. A letter the company sent to Buena Vista this week threatens imminent foreclosure on city hall and police headquarters because the city has stopped paying premiums on an insurance policy.   

There were some electoral upsets yesterday as Virginia voters in 48 localities cast their ballots in state and local primaries.  Among the most contested were 18 elections to nominate candidates for the General Assembly—including challenges to nine incumbent Senators and Delegates. 

Among the Republicans, Chesapeake Senator John Cosgrove and Augusta Senator Emmett Hanger handily won.  But long-time Chesterfield Senator Steve Martin was defeated by Amanda Chase. 

Democratic Senator Rosalyn Dance of Petersburg prevailed over Delegate Joe Preston.  

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Hampton Roads has twice the relative sea-level rise of other Atlantic coastal communities, and Virginia is stepping up its efforts to address the associated recurrent flooding. While the General Assembly recently ordered updates to the state’s flood protection plan, the Army Corps of Engineers has rolled out a new, proactive strategic framework. It calls on local, state, regional, and federal governments to work together—due to the enormity of the tasks ahead. 

A decision made a decade ago by the city of Buena Vista created a debt load that city leaders now call insurmountable. It's a situation that might well serve as an object lesson for other localities in Virginia. 

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