Virginia gubernatorial elections 2021 took an interesting turn as Republican Glenn Youngkin was elected as the next governor in a major blow for Democrats heading into the midterms. According to media projections, Youngkin emerged victorious and became the first Republican to win statewide office in Virginia since 2009.
Youngkin defeated former governor Terry McAuliffe, who campaigned with Joe Biden and Barack Obama. The 'surprising' result has been widely seen as a referendum on Joe Biden's presidency. A year ago, Biden was ahead by 10 points in Virginia in the presidential election. The battle in Virginia also coincided with Biden's agenda stalling in Congress and his approval rating dropping to 42%.
"My fellow Virginians, we stand here this morning at this defining moment, a defining moment that yes, started with two people on a walk and a defining moment that is now millions of Virginians walking together," Youngkin said at his election night headquarters in Chantilly, Virginia. He continued, "Together -- together, we will change the trajectory of this commonwealth. Friends, we are going to start that transformation on day one."
Who is Glenn Youngkin?
Youngkin is a former private equity executive. He lives in Great Falls, Virginia. Before joining politics, Youngkin worked at the private-equity firm 'The Carlyle Group' for 25 years and later became its CEO. He decided to step down from the Carlyle Group in September 2020. He declared his candidacy for the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election in January 2021.
Youngkin lives with his wife Suzanne and their four children. Youngkin reported stock and other financial holdings of between $14.5 million and $30.9 million in financial disclosures ahead of the election. However, it is believed that's just a fraction of his actual net worth. The Washington Post claims his net worth around $400 million.
Initially, Youngkin refused to accept that Biden won the presidency legitimately. Once he won the Republican nomination, Youngkin stated that Biden was the legitimate president. However, throughout his campaign, he didn't miss the opportunity to entertain conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. He also employed campaign surrogates who deny the legitimacy of Biden's presidency.
It's important to note that Youngkin accepted Trump's endorsement but never mentioned him in stump speeches. He also didn't invite the Former President to campaign with him in person.
Youngkin Plans to Ban the Teaching of Critical Race Theory
During his campaign, the political newcomer highlighted the issues like crime, economy, as well as how schools handle race, gender and mask mandates.
He has promised to ban the teaching of critical race theory (CRT) within public schools on "day one" of his administration. He also wishes to push back against certain Covid-19 mandates and restrictions. He supports low tax and small government agenda within the state of Virginia. As per the campaign promises, Youngkin wants to fire Virginia's parole board and increase teacher pay.