Two Republicans announced their campaigns for Virginia Governor, both political outsiders facing the ultimate insider, former Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
Former Carlyle Group co-CEO Glenn Youngkin and entrepreneur Pete Snyder announced their plans to run in the Republican primary.
Youngkin announced his candidacy in a video posted on social media on Wednesday.
Snyder announced his run for governor on Tuesday in a video posted to social media.
The Republican candidate is selected at the state party convention on May 1.
The victor of the Republican primary will likely face former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who served for a term as governor and then announced plans to run again after Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam’s term is over.
Virginia Governors are only allowed one term at a time without the ability to run for reelection.
Virginia Democrats were bludgeoned with scandal in recent years as Northam clumsily weathered questions about his blackface scandal. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax faced allegations of sexual assault, which he denied.
But Republicans remain weakened in both Virginia and New Jersey and face the challenge of uniting Republicans who supported President Donald Trump and Republican-leaning Independents.
A legendary fundraiser, McAulliffe enjoys strong ties to the business and Democrat elites, already raising more than $6 million for his race.
Other Virginia Democrats running against McAulliffe include Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, state Sen. Jennifer McClellan, former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, and Del. Lee Carter.
Former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, a more progressive Democrat candidate, announced earlier in January that she had raised $1.9 million for her race.
The Virginia governor race is among the first early bellwether states that demonstrate national energy and strength for a political party after losing the presidency.
After President Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, Democrats lost the governor’s races in both Virginia and New Jersey in 2009. When President Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, Democrats won both governors’ races in New Jersey and Virginia in 2017.