Glenn Youngkin, a former CEO at the Carlyle Group, the private equity firm, won the GOP nomination for governor in Virginia on Monday in what will be a closely watched election since only two states are headed to the polls in 2021 to choose their governors.
Youngkin took to Twitter late Monday and said that he is “prepared to lead.”
“Virginians have made it clear that they are ready for a political outsider with proven business experience to bring real change in Richmond,” he tweeted.
Youngkin, 54, campaigned as a conservative and defeated a field of seven candidates. Pete Snyder, one of his top rivals, conceded, “I send my heartfelt congratulations. He + the ticket have my 100% support.”
John March, a spokesperson for the Republican Party of Virginia, told Fox News that he believes the party is in a great spot prior to the election. He said Youngkin ran an exceptional grassroots campaign.
The state party’s website showed Youngkin with around 55% of the vote as final ballots were being tallied late Monday night. More than 30,000 delegates cast ballots Saturday at what the Republican Party of Virginia is calling an “unassembled convention” to choose their nominees for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
The Associated Press reported that Youngkin is making his first attempt at public office and lent his campaign more than $5 million. The report said that he campaigned as a “conservative Christian outsider” and highlighted his business credentials.
Democrats will choose their nominee next month in a state-run primary. Former governor Terry McAuliffe is the front-runner in a field of five candidates.
The New York Times reported that Youngkin has said that the last eight years under Democrat rule have been crushing for the state and if McAuliffe somehow wins, “we can kiss our business environment away.”
McAuliffe has tried to describe Youngkin as a Republican who fawns “all over Donald Trump,” the Times reported. Politico pointed out that former President Trump lost the state by 10 points in 2020. Republicans have not won a statewide race in Virginia since 2009. The Washington Post reported that “the suburbs, which swung to blue during the Trump presidency, are likely to be the key battlegrounds in the Nov. 2 general election.”
McAuliffe has a fight on his hands if he is nominated. Politico reported that the state has often “veered away from the party that occupies the White House.”
Party officials told the AP, “From his life experiences, Glenn has developed the skills and character to lead Virginia with humility and courage. He has the know-how to get Virginia moving again and rebuild it into the best place to live, work, and raise a family in America.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report