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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Glenn Youngkin will be the next governor of Virginia, after topping Democratic rival Terry McAuliffe in an election that many view as a purple proxy for November 2022.

Why it matters: It's a big win for private equity, often viewed as ballot box poison, given that Youngkin previously served as co-CEO of The Carlyle Group.

  • But he ran without much support from his former colleagues and peers.

By the numbers: Youngkin raised $21.8 million from private equity industry donors, but $20 million of that came from his own bank account. McAuliffe, on the other hand, raised $4.7 million from private equity.

  • Youngkin reports 25 PE donors who gave at least $10,000, of which just two are tied to Carlyle: A former VP who lives in Virginia and the firm's former CFO.
  • McAuliffe didn't get any major Carlyle donors, but he had 45 PE donors above the $10K mark.
  • In both cases, the lack of Carlyle donations could be related to "pay-to-play" restrictions on donating to statewide candidates.

Youngkin's top PE donor was SCF Partners founder LE Simmons, while McAuliffe's was RLJ Cos. founder Robert Johnson.

  • McAuliffe also bested Youngkin on donations from investment bankers/venture capital.

Big picture: Youngkin won't necessarily have too much influence on private equity as governor, but the donations also suggest that private equity won't have much influence on him. At least outside of his lived experience.

Bigger picture: It's too early to know how Virginia's election impacts the fate of Biden agenda items like infrastructure and Build Back Better. Maybe it spurs Democrats to put aside their differences and get bills passed. Or perhaps it leads to recriminations that deepen and calcify divides.

The bottom line: Youngkin's election could embolden other private equity execs to run for office, as McAuliffe's efforts to brand him as a greedy job destroyer fell flat.

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly said one of Youngkin's donors is a current Carlyle employee, but she is not.

Go deeper

Nov 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: GOP donors “furious”

Sen. Rick Scott addresses the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas on Nov. 5 — the day the House passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Photo: Bridget Bennett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) told his colleagues this week top party donors were "furious" with the number of Republicans — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — who voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, two sources familiar with his remarks tell Axios' Alayna Treene.

Why it matters: Scott chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which relies on donors to help it elect candidates — and re-elect incumbents. The criticism highlighted how toxic the vote has become for the 19 Senate and 13 House Republicans who joined with Democrats to pass it.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.

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