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Virginia making congressional picks in primary elections

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginians are picking Republican and Democratic nominees for various congressional races Tuesday via low-key primary elections. Republicans will pick among three political newcomers to challenge U.S. Sen. Mark Warner in the general election this fall. Although Warner almost lost six years ago, no big name Republican chose to challenge him at this time. With its fast growing suburbs, Virginia is becoming reliably Democratic during the Trump era and no statewide Republican has won in Virginia in more than a decade. Republicans in Hampton Roads will decide whether Scott Taylor will get a rematch with U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria.


Richmond police break up a crowd to save Confederate statue

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Police in Virginia’s capital city declared an unlawful assembly and broke up a gathering of protestors accused of attempting to pull down another Confederate monument. Richmond police declared Sunday night’s gathering near the statue to Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart unlawful and ordered demonstrators to leave the area along Monument Avenue around 9:30 p.m. A line of police in riot gear then moved in to encircle the monument, and were accused of deploying chemical agents against demonstrators. Multiple Confederate monuments in Richmond have been rallying points and sites of clashes with police following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.


White nationalist Richard Spencer loses lawyer in lawsuit

A federal magistrate judge has agreed to let an attorney withdraw from representing white nationalist leader Richard Spencer in a lawsuit over violence that erupted at a rally in Virginia nearly three years ago. U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel Hoppe’s order on Monday leaves Spencer to defend himself against the lawsuit, which names him as one of the organizers of the white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. Spencer said in a text message that he must prepare to represent himself at a trial scheduled to start in October but is “exploring other options.” John DiNucci, the lawyer, has said Spencer owes him a significant amount of money in legal fees.


Roanoke County seeks proposals to expand broadband access

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — Officials in Roanoke County are seeking proposals to expand broadband access to unserved residents and businesses. The Roanoke Times reported Sunday that about 20% of the county does not have broadband access. Internet providers have until July 16 to present their proposals to expand access to five areas that combined have more than 350 addresses in need of service. Information Technology Director Bill Hunter says the issue is now a top priority for the county’s board of supervisors. Providers can present proposals for an entire area or parts of it. Last year, local officials assessed the county’s internet needs by surveying residents.


Andrews defeats trio to win GOP nomination in 10th District

WINCHESTER, Va. (AP) — Marine Corps veteran Aliscia Andrews will take on freshman Democrat Jennifer Wexton in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District after narrowly defeating three other candidates at the district’s nominating convention. Andrews won on the final ballot Saturday at the GOP’s drive-thru nominating convention Saturday at Shenandoah University in Winchester. Because large gatherings remain prohibited due to the coronavirus, the party convention was modified to allow for drive-thru voting and ranked-choice balloting. The change benefited Andrews, who was in third place after the first ballot. In the final round, Andrews defeated Rob Jones, who had led in the first two rounds.


Election chaos renews focus on gutted Voting Rights Act

ATLANTA (AP) — A troubled Georgia presidential primary and fears of a repeat Tuesday in Kentucky have renewed attention on a diminished Voting Rights Act that Congress has left untouched since the Supreme Court gutted a key provision seven years ago. The dynamic has intensified Democrats’ calls for Congress to revisit the nation’s voting laws and establish a more centralized standard, and it’s ratcheted up concerns across the ideological spectrum that the presidential election in November could be leave some Americans questioning the result. “It’s going to be a long fall for election lawyers,” said University of Georgia law professor Lori Ringhand, an election law expert.


In NY, KY primaries, mail-in deluge and lines in Louisville

WASHINGTON (AP) — Overwhelmed Kentucky and New York officials face a deluge of mail-in votes that are likely to delay results for days after Tuesday’s congressional primaries. There’s a lot of interest in two contests in particular. One involves former Marine combat pilot Amy McGrath’s fight for the Democratic nomination to challenge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican, this November. The other involves House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel of New York. The Democrat is seeking a 17th House term. McGrath and Engel are facing African American challengers fueled by voter fury over racism and recent police killings of blacks.


Virus survey workers to go door to door in northern Virginia

MANASSAS, Va. (AP) — Federal workers from the Centers for Disease Control will be going door to door in two northern Virginia cities to conduct a survey of needs related to the coronavirus pandemic. Manassas and Manassas Park have large Hispanic populations and on a per-capita basis have been some of the hardest-hit jurisdictions in the country with COVID-19 cases. Beginning Monday, CDC workers will be going door to door in the area with a 30-question survey conducted in Spanish. The city of Manassas says the survey will collect information designed to help local health officials understand what resources are needed in the community.

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