PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — George Allen, Virginia’s 67th governor, first met with the former Carlyle Group Co-CEO Glenn Youngkin last fall for lunch at a popular Virginia Beach restaurant.
Three hours later, the Allen-Youngkin deal was closed.
“I think there’s a humility about him. He takes notes. I had written down some notes where I outlined some things to tell him as suggestions and he asked me if he could keep that,” said Allen.
Allen was in, and so were former Republican governors Jim Gilmore and Bob McDonnell. In a historic show of force in the late stages of the campaign, the trio stumped for the former business executive before an enthusiastic crowd in Virginia Beach.
“I think he has integrity I think that’s the most important thing in him wanting to keep the promises he made to the people of Virginia,” Allen said.
Former governor Allen is the son of the late NFL coach George Allen. Youngkin, at 6’7”, played basketball and Norfolk Academy and at Rice University. One day before Youngkin met with Gov. Ralph North to officially begin the transition, Allen delivered a football management analogy.
“He [Youngkin] is also a person who is competitive. We got along well because I use football analogies and he uses basketball analogies but he understands teamwork and the need to assemble good assistant coaches,” said Allen.
Allen says those so-called assistant coaches should be the best in their jurisdictions, including law enforcement, economic development, mental health, and education.
“I think you are going to see better schools with higher standards and accountability. He was previously involved in making sure people are more job-ready,” said Allen.
And Allen is proud that Youngkin has adopted the 67th governor’s slogan — “Virginia is Open for Business” — a proclamation Youngkin shouted from the stage in his victory speech.
“I also think you are going to see Virginia being much more competitive than North Carolina and Tennessee in terms of beating us as far as jobs and opportunities,” Allen said.
Better pay and training for police officers, and tax cuts for veterans: that’s what you’ll see under the Youngkin administration, said Allen.
“Virginia is one of only five states that tax retirement benefits for veterans, and Glenn Youngkin as governor is going to try to eliminate the tax on the first $40,000 of retirement benefits and we want to keep the veterans here,” said Allen.
But the type of behavior displayed by former President Donald Trump — including the disrespectful comment he made in 2015 about former prisoner of war, Sen. John McCain, his vulgar comments as president about countries such as Haiti, and the shocking comments he made about white supremacists in Charlottesville — is not part of the Youngkin package, Allen said.
“Donald Trump needs to understand and everyone needs to understand that this election was decided by positive constructive ideas that resonated with the people of Virginia. It wasn’t with caustic remarks or constant insults with folks,” Allen said.