Mar 7, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin endorses Trump for president

Photo illustration of Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin with lines radiating from him.

Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has endorsed Donald Trump for president.

Why it matters: Youngkin, who has kept Trump at arm's length while embracing his supporters, is the latest in a wave of endorsements cementing MAGA's grip on Republicans.

Following a Trump sweep in Virginia's Republican primary on Super Tuesday, the governor took his support to X on Wednesday night.

  • "It's time to unite around strong leadership … not four more years of President Biden," he said.
  • Richmond Democrats were quick to slam the decision, including Mayor Levar Stoney, who called it "a slap in the face to millions of Virginians" before noting that Trump lost the state in 2016 and 2020.

The fine print: Youngkin stayed neutral ahead of the primaries, but had said he'd back a Trump nomination.

State of play: GOP donors once hoped Youngkin would jump into the presidential race as a Trump alternative.

  • But Democrats seizing the statehouse last November foiled the potential presidential run many thought could still be in play if a GOP takeover happened.
  • Though sources said Youngkin's wife, Suzanne, had privately not wanted him to run in part due to concerns over putting their family in Trump's crosshairs, reports Axios' Cuneyt Dil.
  • Youngkin has been in the past, such as in 2022, when the former president claimed Youngkin "couldn't have won without me" following his gubernatorial win.

What's next: There's still speculation that the governor hasn't ruled out a 2028 presidential campaign.

  • Youngkin's final term as governor will be up in 2026.
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