Glenn Youngkin officially secured the Republican nomination for governor of Virginia on May 10. After consistently leading on six ballots at a virtual convention, the businessman and first-time candidate finally wrapped up the nomination with 55% of the vote.
"We saw a groundswell of support throughout the Commonwealth, and that is very humbling," Youngkin told Newsmax shortly after becoming the nominee. "I am ready to lead and prepared to serve, and I can't wait to go to work with all Virginians."
"Another truly remarkable thing that happened was that we had the Virginia Republican Party coming together," he added. "The other night, we had a big rally in Richmond and everyone was there. We had that great showing and recognized that we are going to win in November because we are on the right side, the correct side, of all of the issues.
Youngkin is convinced Democrats failed to help Virginia and predicted they will ultimately lose in November.
"The Democrats have been on the wrong side," he said. "And given that [likely Democrat opponent and former Gov.] Terry McAuliffe and [outgoing Gov.] Ralph Northam have taken the great Commonwealth of Virginia into a ditch in the last eight years, it's definitely time we had a business leader come around and fix it. The last thing that Virginia needs is another career politician."
McAuliffe "has moved so far left on so many issues," Youngkin continued. "He wants to get rid of Right to Work [guaranteeing jobs for workers without joining a union], take away qualified immunity for our law enforcement heroes, teach critical race theory in our classrooms, and he absolutely doesn't stand for our constitutional rights and rights under the Bill of Rights, particularly religious liberty."
Terry McAuliffe includes on his campaign website a plan to repeal the Virginia "conscience clause":
"Unfortunately, Virginia law enables certain foster care and adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ+ individuals wishing to foster or adopt under the guise of religious or moral convictions. These policies not only prevent loving families from caring for our most vulnerable children, they also perpetuate stigma and shame for youth in care. It is unacceptable that we continue to exclude families who are willing to provide loving homes to children in need because of who they are or who they love. As governor, Terry will work with the legislature to repeal this discriminatory law once and for all."
Youngkin also told us about what he has been hearing on the ground across Virginia when voters learn of Democrat McAuliffe's plan for Virginia.
"Left-wing liberals are so far to the left that Democrats and independents are just shaking their heads," he said. "I keep hearing over and over again, 'Glenn, we cannot afford another term of the McAuliffe-Northam administration.' This is where things have gotten to, which is why Virginians want a Republican governor who is an outsider, who has gotten things done and delivered results. I am ready to start getting things done on behalf of Virginians."
Old Dominion State Democrats must wait until June 8 to formally nominate a gubernatorial candidate. Virtually all polls indicate it will be McAuliffe. Youngkin, fueled by a convention victory and a united party, has already starting swinging at him.
(Michael Cozzi is a Ph.D candidate at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.)
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