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New Democratic majority set to bring down Confederate statues in Virginia

Democrats in Virginia’s General Assembly are poised to again attempt to remove Confederate monuments after last week saw the party claim a majority in both houses of the state legislature, according to The Associated Press.
“This is about what do we remember? What do we honor? It’s the right to decide what we celebrate,” said Del.-elect Sally Hudson (D), whose district includes Charlottesville, the site of a deadly 2017 white supremacist rally.
The city of Charlottesville is currently embroiled in a lawsuit over its decision the same year to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee, as well as its relocation of another monument to Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, with a judge temporarily ruling against the removal of the statues.
“I can’t imagine we would go through this session without that getting a full hearing,” Del. Lamont Bagby (D), chairman of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, said of the issue of the statues. “I suspect that it will be met with success.”
Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who has said the monuments should be in a museum, has suggested he will sign a removal bill if it comes to his desk, according to the AP. “My thoughts are that the localities are in the best position to make those decisions and that’s what I’ll continue to support,” Northam said at a recent news conference.
Charlottesville, meanwhile, named locality control of Civil War monuments as a key 2020 legislative priority, according to city spokesman Brian Wheeler.
“The City would welcome any new perspective the next General Assembly might be able to bring to our requests on this matter in the next session,” Wheeler said, according to the AP.
In Richmond, which features five Confederate statues along Monument Avenue, a commission formed by Mayor Levar Stoney (D) recommended the removal of a statue of Jefferson Davis but for the retention of the other four, according to the AP.

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