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Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin appears to be backing out of a presidential run: Report

By Elizabeth Delaney
|
April 17, 2023

Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) has decided to sacrifice his 2024 presidential run for the sake of focusing on and supporting the commonwealth state's congressional elections in the fall.

Though his stunning election win in a state that generally tends toward the democratic end of the spectrum led to expectations of a 2024 presidential election bid, the large number of seats in the Senate that are opening up has redirected his attention, according to The New York Times.

Youngkin tells his advisors and donors he's focusing on supporting Virginia state races

Youngkin has notified his advisors and donors that he hopes to shift the Virginia state legislature to one that's a Republican majority.

With all 140 seats up for grabs in the General Assembly this coming November, Virginia's Republican controlled House hopes to maintain their majority while also snagging the Senate Majority, according to WRIC.

Their efforts might be considered ambitions by some given the fact that the last six Senate races have been awarded to the Democrats, and Virginia is historically a democratically-leaning state, according to Roll Call.

Youngkin's win in 2023 was largely attributed to a strong Republican turnout and unusually high support from those in rural areas, and a weaker turnout from suburbs that have historically had a high Democratic leaning.

That being said, Youngkin's win was a narrow 2-point victory over former Governor Terry McAuliffe, who only had a three-point lead the Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli in the previous election, according to Roll Call.

Youngkin proud of Virginia's progress under his administration

Youngkin has indicated that he's proud of Virginia's progress under his administration, which includes tax cuts and investments in the areas of law enforcement and education, according to WRIC.

He has also stated that he he believes the Republicans have a great shot at winning the Virginia Senate in November.

"This is our moment. So I am wholly focused on the commonwealth of Virginia and I'm looking forward to these elections this year," Youngkin told WRIC.

Youngkin has been heavy on the campaign trail both last year and this year.
He has managed to bring in millions of dollars for his political action committee, which he's used to extend his support for many of the Republican candidates in Virginia.

Youngkin's former political advisors back DeSantis presidential run

Since he's made it known that his focus is on the Virginia state races, two of Youngkin's former political advisors, Jeff Roe and Matt Wolking, have focused their backing efforts on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' anticipated presidential run. The two advisors have joined a super PAC in support of DeSantis.

When Youngkin was asked about his thoughts on that, his reply to WRIC was, "It means they made a decision to do something that they wanted to do from a business standpoint, and I still view them as trusted counselors and we’re focused on Virginia. And I just think that’s a really important moment for us to recognize that Virginia is doing extremely well, and we have our midterm elections this year and I want to make sure that we’re focused on it.

"Listen, I didn’t write a book, and I’m not in Iowa or New Hampshire or South Carolina because the road to holding our House and winning our Senate majority is through greater Richmond and Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia and I-81 corridor. And this is what this year is all about."

DeSantis still hasn't officially announced his presidential run, but there is great expectation that his announcement is forthcoming.

In fact, a filing with the Federal Election Committee was circulating on Saturday night indicating that DeSantis  may have officially filed for a 2024 presidential run on the Republican party ticket, but the filing has not yet been confirmed as legitimate, according to First Coast News.