PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin.
Youngkin, the wealthy former CEO of the Carlyle Group, won the Republican nomination via convention after fellow businessman Pete Snyder conceded Monday night. He’s a former Hampton Roads resident and graduated from Norfolk Academy.
In a statement, Trump talked about Youngkin’s pro-business platform and emphasized Democratic front-runner and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton.
McAuliffe responded by calling Youngkin extreme, saying Virginia has already rejected Trump.
“Glenn Youngkin spent his campaign fawning all over Donald Trump, and now Trump has returned the favor by wholeheartedly endorsing him,” McAuliffe said. “Virginians have rejected Donald Trump’s hate, conspiracy theories, and dangerous lies at every turn, and we’re going to do it again to his hand-picked, extreme right-wing candidate Glenn Youngkin this November … he wants to make it harder to vote, attacks reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights, and is a rubber stamp for the NRA’s dangerous agenda …”
Trump’s endorsement may actually hurt Youngkin, who will try to be the first Republican to win a statewide race in Virginia since 2009. Gov. Ralph Northam won the last race for governor in 2017 by 9% over Ed Gillespie.
Trump lost Virginia big in the 2020 election, by 10% to President Joe Biden, after losing by 5% to Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Youngkin, like Trump, has touted himself as an outsider. He’s also been endorsed by Sen. Ted Cruz, campaigning with him in Virginia Beach.
“I am prepared to lead, excited to serve and profoundly humbled by the trust the people have placed in me,” Youngkin wrote on Twitter after securing the nomination. “Virginians have made it clear that they are ready for a political outsider with proven business experience to bring real change in Richmond.”
Del. Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach) won the attorney general nomination at the convention, but the Virginia GOP was still counting ballots in the lieutenant governor field on Tuesday.
WAVY’s Kayla Gaskins will sit down with Youngkin for an interview today. Look for updates.