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In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton garnered 200,000 more votes than Donald Trump. the state has a Democrat for governor. However, Republicans hold nearly 2/3 of the House seats and a small margin (21-19) in the Senate. As the commonwealth prepares for the gubernatorial primary for both parties, gun control has become a central issue of debate among most of the leading candidates.

Jeanette Richardson was at a Newport News neighbor’s house for a New Year’s Eve party in 2004 when she heard gunshots.

She returned home to find that her 18-year-old son, Patrick Wyatt McKinley, had been shot to death in the street. The gunman had been attending a party elsewhere in the neighborhood, and neither she nor her son knew him.

But he attacked her son, home on break from college in Florida, after the teenager asked one of the gunman’s friends to move his car from in front of their house.

The randomness of the crime and the pain of losing a child who just weeks before had asked her to watch the documentary “Bowling for Columbine” – about the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado – turned Richardson into a gun control advocate overnight…

Many are closely watching the race for the governor’s seat in Virginia. Democrats are hoping to retain control of the governor’s mansion and Republicans are hoping for an upset. Political analysts believe what happens in this Virginia race will determine the direction of national politics in the next year or two.

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