Chairman Corey Stewart, outspoken conservative from mostly blue Prince William County, a suburb of D.C., will be at inauguration on Friday. He’ll also be on your screen if you watch the events on Fox News. Stewart, republican gubernatorial candidate, has purchased a 30 second spot for the first political ad of the season.
The ad doesn’t tie Stewart to Trump, despite him running his own campaign on Trumpisms – beating democrats, promoting jobs, and deporting “illegals.” Also, Stewart was Trump’s Virginia campaign chairman until October when he was let go due to his participation in an authorized protest.
Republicans Ed Gillespie, Sen. Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach), and Denver Riggleman face Stewart for the nomination.
In Richmond today, the family of a Portsmouth, Va. man who died in a jail cell pleaded lawmakers to make mental health assistance a priority this session. Aunt of Jamycheal Mitchell said, “No young man should spend four months in jail for stealing a candy bar and soda.”
Her nephew suffered intense weight loss and cardiac problems after spending over 100 days in his cell while waiting for a mental health bed, which never happened due to clerical errors. He was in jail for stealing $5 in snacks from a 7-11 convenience store. A number of bills have been introduced this session to tackle mental health issues, some with an emphasis on inmate mental health problems.
HB1904 (Steve Heretick, D-Portsmouth) was killed by voice vote yesterday. The legislation, a talking point of last week’s State of the Commonwealth address, fell short in the Privileges and Elections subcommittee. HB1428 (Hyland Fowler, Jr. R-Glen Allen) was referred to the Committee on Appropriations shortly after, allowing for the requirement of a photo identification attached to mailed absentee ballots.
Tomorrow, Gov. McAuliffe is scheduled to speak at the Women’s Health Care Caucus press conference in Richmond at 9 a.m.