OpinionTrending Commentary

Will Virginia Fully Turn Red Under Glenn Youngkin?


Since his confirmation in January 2022, Gov. Glenn Youngkin has received a largely positive reception from his constituents and fellow lawmakers. A unifying force for Virginia legislators, Youngkin has advanced a series of administration priorities that have led to measurable positive outcomes for commonwealth residents.

Working with a politically divided General Assembly, he nonetheless led the passage of a two-year budget that boosted law enforcement funding and enhanced educational capacity in K-12 schools. Additionally, his major investments in mental health and the elimination of the grocery tax point to his keen political ability to accomplish broadly populist initiatives that serve the interests of all Virginians.

His decision-making has so far paid off; according to a recent Roanoke College poll, 51% of Virginia voters approve of his job performance.

Youngkin’s ability to effectively implement his campaign goals has been limited, however, by a closely divided legislature. With a Republican majority in the House of Delegates, and a Senate minority in need of four additional seats, Virginia is close to gaining a Republican trifecta for the first time since 2013.

Securing Republican control of both chambers under the leadership of a widely popular and effective governor could bring unprecedented benefits to the commonwealth, offering Youngkin the ability to implement key priorities related to community safety, education reform, and rising costs of living.

Aware of the opportunities a unified legislature could offer, Youngkin made a concerted effort ahead of last week’s primaries to endorse candidates he believed would best serve the interests of Virginia. Primary endorsements are somewhat rare for governors, who often wait for the primary dust to settle before throwing their weight behind candidates.

The decision paid off, however, and demonstrated the major influence Youngkin has with Virginia voters. Of the 10 candidates he endorsed, all of them won their primaries.

Recognizing an opportunity not seen in a decade, we launched Changemakers earlier this year to build on the governor’s momentum. Our organization is an aptly named political action committee (PAC) leading a populist effort to shore up donor support for candidates that are best positioned to win key targeted races this fall.

Changemakers is unique among PACs in that it pools donations at any dollar amount, drawing largely from Virginians that typically don’t donate to campaigns. We are committing every penny of those contributions directly to candidates that support Youngkin’s initiatives, and who we believe have a statistically likely chance of winning.

As longtime Virginia residents involved in state and federal politics, we have always recognized the need for qualified conservative candidates.

In November, Virginians will go to the polls to cast their votes for both state and local office. We support increased participation by citizens in all aspects of the political process.

Through our efforts, we expect the results will tell us what we already know: Virginia is for Changemakers.

Emily Lampkin is a national leader in training and mentoring women serving in and running for office. She represents Northern Virginia on the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

Ellen Walter is a grassroots leader focusing on garnering the women vote. She was senior adviser to Gov. Youngkin, growing his women support and led Ladies for Laxalt for Adam Laxalt in Nevada.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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