On Monday, political outsider Glenn Youngkin clinched the Republican nomination in the 2021 race for Virginia governor. Youngkin, former co-CEO at The Carlyle Group, won the endorsement of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the primary and former President Donald Trump endorsed him on Tuesday. Youngkin will likely face off against former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (2014-2018), a Democrat, who has yet to clinch his party’s nomination.
“Congratulations to Glenn Youngkin for winning the Republican nomination for Governor of Virginia,” Trump said in a statement. “Glenn is pro-Business, pro-Second Amendment, pro-Veterans, pro-America, he knows how to make Virginia’s economy rip-roaring, and he has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”
“Glenn is running against Bill Clinton’s longtime enabler, Terry McAuliffe,” the former president added. “Terry McAuliffe was the Clintons’ bagman in more ways than one, from the cover-ups to the get-rich-quick schemes, and his deals with Communist China look suspicious. He was responsible for many of the problems Virginia currently has.”
Trump concluded with rousing support for the Republican: “Virginia doesn’t need the Clintons or the Communist Chinese running the state, so say no to Terry McAuliffe, and yes to Patriot Glenn Youngkin!”
McAuliffe does indeed have a long history with the Clintons. He served as the co-chair of President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign and the chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. He also led the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005. He credited his business success to his relationship with Bill Clinton. “I’ve met all of my business contacts through politics. It’s all interrelated,” he told The New York Times in 1999.
In 2016, the FBI investigated McAuliffe “over whether donations to his gubernatorial campaign violated the law.” Reports cited a hefty $120,000 donation from Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang.
McAuliffe infamously signed an executive order allowing more than 200,000 convicted felons in Virginia to vote. Virginia’s Supreme Court blocked the move, but McAuliffe found a way to skirt it. He also vetoed a religious freedom bill that would have allowed religious churches and wedding vendors to decline to celebrate same-sex weddings.
McAuliffe has an ugly history of baselessly accusing Republicans of racism. In November 2017, he claimed that Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie had been running “the most racist campaign in Virginia history.” Yes, he technically called Gillespie more racist than bans on interracial marriage, laws enshrining segregation, and even the institution of slavery.
Youngkin, by contrast, is running as an outsider and a businessman who would shake up Virginia politics. He has championed Virginia’s right-to-work status, opposed critical race theory in education, and pledged to uphold religious freedom and the Second Amendment.
Youngkin has faced criticism for urging his employees to contribute to the far-left smear factory the Southern Poverty Law Center, however. His campaign spokesperson Macaulay Porter insisted that “Glenn has never given a dime to the SPLC and is totally opposed to their agenda. Other people at Carlyle supported it but Glenn never did.” Youngkin’s campaign has not yet responded to PJ Media’s request for comment on the issue.
Youngkin seems to have been the best Republican candidate situated to face McAuliffe. While McAuliffe raised $4.1 million in the first quarter of 2021 and had an ending balance of $8.5 million as of March 31, Youngkin has raised $7.65 million, with $3.6 million cash on hand. He has mostly self-funded his run, having contributed $5.5 million to his campaign fund and $400,000 to his political action committee.
While Virginia once regularly elected Republicans, the state has trended blue in recent elections. Youngkin faces an uphill battle against McAuliffe, but a great deal can happen between May and November.