Virginia Republican Glenn Youngkin announced Tuesday he is making a seven-figure investment in launching the political action committee Virginia Wins with the goal of boosting Republican candidates in the state’s upcoming elections at “every level of government.”
Youngkin, a candidate himself running for governor in a crowded 2021 Republican field, said in a statement Tuesday that watching as “the left runs wild” in his home state drove him toward the initiative.
“Democrats have poured millions of dollars into transforming Virginia, and I can’t sit by and watch while the left runs wild in my home state,” Youngkin said. “Our party has failed to win statewide for over a decade, but I’m going to change that in November.”
Virginia Republicans have struggled for representation in recent years as they are the minority party in both the state House and Senate as of January 2020 and have not seen a Republican governor take office since Bob McDonnell, whose term ended in January 2014.
“When I’m governor, I will need a new crop of conservative leaders across Virginia working with me to get things done and make our Commonwealth the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” Youngkin added.
Youngkin, a businessman who as of August 2020 had a net worth of at least $288 million, markets himself as a political outsider and has the ability to self-fund his campaign, having accumulated his wealth while working in private equity at the Carlyle Group.
His investment in Virginia Wins, according to a press release, will be “dedicated to restoring and renewing conservative leadership in the Commonwealth.” The press release stated that the organization will support Republican candidates at “every level of government, including local school board, Commonwealth’s attorney, county sheriff, board of supervisors, state delegate, state senator, and the U.S. Congress.”
Before retiring as co-CEO of the Carlyle Group in September, Youngkin contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates, but Youngkin’s campaign noted in the press release he had been restricted from donating to Virginia’s state and local candidates because of his position with the Carlyle Group.
Youngkin is now “able to support Virginia candidates and committed to ensuring his successful campaign for governor is not a lonely victory,” the press release noted.
The Virginia Republican is facing several others in his party as they vie to challenge the presumed Democrat candidate, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, in the November governor’s race as current Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) term expires. The Republican candidate will be decided at a nominating convention in May, and contenders include businessman and New Media Strategies founder Pete Snyder; state Sen. Amanda Chase, who calls herself “Trump in heels”; former Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox, a state delegate since 1990; and Sergio de la Peña, a retired Army colonel and former Department of Defense official.
A recent poll showed Chase had the most support at 17 percent, followed by Cox at ten percent, Snyder at six percent, and Youngkin at three percent; however, 55 percent of Republican voters in the poll were still undecided.
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