Editor's note: Ted Cruz’s win at Virginia's state GOP convention will only come into play if Donald Trump fails to clinch the nomination before the convention as Virginia delegates are bound by the results of the March 1 primary, the Washington Post reports. - Jimmy
Editor's note: Former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell’s corruption case will go before the U.S. Supreme Court today in the last oral arguments of the top court's 2015 term. He and his wife, Maureen, were found guilty two years ago of accepting more than $175,000 worth of gifts and favors from businessman Jonnie Williams. McDonnell will not have to report to prison for his two-year sentence unless he loses the appeal. We'll be watching for updates in the case. - Rebecca
Virginia (/vərˈdʒɪnjə/vər-JIN-yə, UK /vərˈdʒɪniə/vər-JIN-ee-ə), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state located in the South Atlantic region of the United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" due to its status as the first colonial possession established in mainland British America, and "Mother of Presidents" because eight U.S. presidents were born there, more than any other state. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2014 is over 8.3 million.
The area's history begins with several indigenous groups, including the Powhatan. In 1607 the London Company established the Colony of Virginia as the first permanent New World English colony. Slave labor and the land acquired from displaced Native American tribes each played a significant role in the colony's early politics and plantation economy. Virginia was one of the 13 Colonies in the American Revolution and joined the Confederacy in the American Civil War, during which Richmond was made the Confederate capital and Virginia's northwestern counties seceded to form the state of West Virginia. Although the Commonwealth was under one-party rule for nearly a century following Reconstruction, both major national parties are competitive in modern Virginia.
The Virginia General Assembly is the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World. The state government has been repeatedly ranked most effective by the Pew Center on the States. It is unique in how it treats cities and counties equally, manages local roads, and prohibits its governors from serving consecutive terms. Virginia's economy has many sectors: agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley; federal agencies in Northern Virginia, including the headquarters of the Department of Defense and CIA; and military facilities in Hampton Roads, the site of the region's main seaport. Virginia's economy changed from primarily agricultural to industrial during the 1960s and 1970s, and in 2002 computer chips became the state's leading export.