Predicting Politics in the General Assembly


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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Medicaid expansion along with mental health laws are just some of the issues that will be talked about this year at the General Assembly.

With a new governor, things will be different, politically, speaking.

We're still waiting to see what will happen with two seats in the state Senate to replace Ralph Northam, the new lieutenant governor, and Mark Herring, the new new attorney general.

The race to replace Northam remains too close to call, with the Democrat clinging to just a 22 vote lead.

Both of these races will decide which party has control of the state Senate.

Dr. Bob Roberts, a local political analyst, said he expects both parties will find agreement on things like mental health and ethics, but Medicaid expansion could prove to be tough.

The House of Delegates has a Republican majority which would make it seem tough that it would pass, despite Terry McAuliffe's support.

The state's current political make-up could also have an impact in all of this.

"I don't think a lot of cooperation right now because Virginia is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, Conservatives and Moderates. They don't see they have to compromise," said Roberts.

Roberts also said he expects the Republicans will have their eyes on next November's U.S. Senate race as Mark Warner, a Democrat, is up for re-election.

Some Republicans may not want to compromise with democrats in the hopes of winning that race, according to Roberts.


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