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In Choosing Leader, Virginia Democrats Fight Over Same-Sex Marriage

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There are divisions among Virginia Democrats over the governor's pick to lead the party — a mayor who's spoken out against same-sex marriage.

Last fall, Democrats swept all three statewide offices and took control of the state Senate. Then they celebrated a major legal victory when a judge declared Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Now, there's trouble in paradise.

"Nothing triggers intra-party disputes like victory," says Stephen Farnsworth, political science professor with the University of Mary Washington. "When you are a minority, it's much easier to stick together. When you can taste power, well then the fights begin."

Now a new fight has begun over Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe's pick to be the new chairman of the state Democratic party: Dwight Jones, mayor of Richmond. Back in 2012, he issued a statement opposing President Obama's support of same-sex unions.

University of Virginia Center for Politics analyst Geoff Skelley says that's causing a backlash in the party.

"It's strange, at least in the sense of messaging and the kind of message that Democrats have been sending," Skelley says. "For them to now do this is a little bit... it just seems counterproductive for what they are trying to do."

Members of the state central committee will have the final say over whether or not they'll select Jones to head the party.

NPR

Writer James Alan McPherson, Winner Of Pulitzer, MacArthur And Guggenheim, Dies At 72

McPherson, the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, has died at 72. His work explored the intersection of white and black lives with deftness, subtlety and wry humor.
NPR

Oyster Archaeology: Ancient Trash Holds Clues To Sustainable Harvesting

Modern-day oyster populations in the Chesapeake are dwindling, but a multi-millennia archaeological survey shows that wasn't always the case. Native Americans harvested the shellfish sustainably.

WAMU 88.5

Your Turn: Ronald Reagan's Shooter, Freddie Gray Verdicts And More

Have opinions about the Democratic National Convention, or the verdicts from the Freddie Gray cases? It's your turn to talk.

NPR

Trump's Cyber Comments Rouse The Democrats

As they bolster their case that Hillary Clinton is ready to be commander in chief, Democrats are seizing on Donald Trump's comments seemingly encouraging Russia to use cyber-espionage against Clinton.

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