Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Glenn Youngkin, the former co-CEO of a global investment firm, told Fox News he believes Virginians want a political outsider and said he’s tired of Republicans in the state losing after using “the same playbook year after year after year.”
“I’m tired of the Republican Party losing. … We tend to forget the job is not to try to run towards a nomination process but to serve Virginians,” Youngkin told Fox News in an interview. “There are people who want this job so they can just prepare for their next job.”
Virginia hasn’t elected a Republican governor since Bob McDonnell in 2009, but a crowded field of Republican candidates is hoping to change that. State Sen. Amanda Chase, former Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox, former Department of Defense official Sergio de la Pena, tech entrepreneur Pete Snyder and others are competing for the party’s 2021 nomination.
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With a Democrat in the White House (Virginians tend to elect governors from the opposite political party than the president) and the governor’s mansion, it could be their year.
“Never has there been a time where a Republican governor is better positioned,” Youngkin said. “Sadly, we’ve had a clear demonstration that when we have a Democratic House of Delegates and Democratic Senate and Democratic governor, the laws that are getting passed and enacted are unconstrained, and boy do they damage our great commonwealth.”
He’s already been attacked by the apparent Democratic frontrunner, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, over Youngkin’s election integrity proposals, including automatically updating voter rolls monthly.
“Glenn – Donald Trump and Amanda Chase are so proud of you for bringing up this conspiracy theory so important to Virginia voters,” McAuliffe wrote on Twitter on Monday.
Youngkin said McAuliffe may be good at raising cash, but he plans to be the best-resourced candidate. With a personal fortune estimated at $250 million by The Washington Post, Youngkin has the self-funding capability to back that up. He declined to tell Fox News how much of his personal funds he’d be willing to spend to get the nomination but touted his campaign’s fundraising.
“We raised a million dollars in the first 10 days of my campaign from outside contributions,” Youngkin said. “We will be resourced in a way to make sure we have the kind of campaign that will win.”
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Youngkin touts his business background as the key to his campaign, which he says is all about bringing prosperity back to Virginians after the coronavirus pandemic erased nearly a decade’s worth of job gains in the state in two months, according to a report from Old Dominion University.
Youngkin points to his years of experience leading multinational firm The Carlyle Group as well as the job training nonprofit Virginia Ready Initiative, which he and his wife, Suzanne, founded when the pandemic began taking a toll on employment.
“It’s important to provide all Virginians with opportunity to have a career,” Youngkin said. “Carlyle started as a small company and grew to be a big company.”
“What I learned along the way is if you make false promises and don’t deliver … don’t understand how to get different problems solved … you’re not going to be successful as a business or a leader,” he said.
The 2021 race is wide open since Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, is unable to run for reelection due to the state’s prohibition on governors serving consecutive terms.
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But Republicans are already stumbling out of the gate as party members squabble over the decision to nominate a gubernatorial candidate via a convention instead of a primary. In fact, Chase sued the Republican Party earlier in February over the decision.
“It’s official; I just filed a lawsuit against the Republican Party of Virginia,” she wrote on Twitter on Feb. 9. “They’ve chosen an illegal nomination method and have yet to remedy the situation. Unless something changes; the [State Central Committee] not the people will [choose] our statewide candidates. We the People know best.”