Virginia lawmakers vote to remove statue of segregationist

Virginia lawmakers vote to remove statue of segregationist
A statue of Harry Byrd Sr. in Capitol Square (FILE) (Source: Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A panel of Virginia lawmakers have advanced a bill to remove a statue of Harry F. Byrd Sr., a staunch segregationist, from the state Capitol grounds.

The decision to advance the bill comes amid a yearslong effort in history-rich Virginia to rethink who is honored in the state’s public spaces.

Byrd, a Democrat, served as governor and U.S. senator. He ran the state’s most powerful political machine for decades until his death in 1966 and was considered the architect of the state’s racist “massive resistance” policy to public school integration.

The bill advanced on a party-line vote, with all Republicans on the committee voting against it.

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