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How Gov. Northam's Proposed Gun Control Measures Might Play Out In Virginia


And I want to bring in another voice because listening along to that, we had Mallory Noe-Payne, who covers the statehouse for member station WVTF in Virginia. Hey, Mallory.


KELLY: Hi. So help us understand how this might play out in Richmond - Governor Northam there sounding confident he may be able to get some of this gun control legislation through. What is the political reality?

NOE-PAYNE: Well, so the political reality is definitely that he's in a weaker position than he has been in the past. Polls show he's less popular with Virginians. But when he pointed out that Democrats stood by him yesterday, that's true. I was at that press conference. It was a little bit wild to see all those Democrats together for the first time since the fallout of the scandal. And they did stand alongside him. It was true that there's really these signs of solidarity that at least extend to this particular issue.

KELLY: And the special session that the governor is calling which I gather may play out as soon as later this month - how does that change the political dynamic in Virginia?

NOE-PAYNE: Well, I mean - so, sure, he stood with Democrats, and Democrats said that they're on board with the special session and pursuing gun control. But as you mentioned when you were talking to him, it's Republicans who are in control of the legislature. So does that mean that they're going to come into Richmond and pass a bunch of gun control measures? No, I don't think we're going to see that happening.

The fallout of this scandal - while Democrats seem to be willing to stand by him, it puts him in a weaker position when it comes to negotiating with Republicans. Our Republican speaker of the House in a statement yesterday called his motives suspect and said that he hope it isn't - he's not just making up for what's gone over in the last four or five months.

KELLY: All right, thanks so much, Mallory - Mallory Noe-Payne joining us there from Richmond. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Mallory Noe-Payne is a freelance reporter and producer based in Richmond, Virginia. Although she's a native Virginian, she's most recently worked for public radio in Boston. There, she helped produce stories about higher education, including a nationally-airing series on the German university system. In addition to working for WGBH in Boston, she's worked at WAMU in Washington D.C. She graduated from Virginia Tech with degrees in Journalism and Political Science.