Nov 9, 2023 - News

Glenn Youngkin says he has a new bipartisan outlook

Youngkin at the Capitol. Photo: Ned Oliver/Axios

Gov. Glenn Youngkin is striking a cooperative tone after the GOP's attempt at a complete takeover of Virginia government went down in flames.

What they're saying: Tuesday's results show Virginia is a fundamentally purple state, Youngkin said.

  • He pledged to spend his final two years in office working with Democrats in the legislature on areas of bipartisan agreement, like economic development, education and mental health.
  • "[Voters] expect us to find common ground," he said.

State of play: With all races called, Democrats will enter next year's General Assembly session with a one-seat majority in both the House and Senate.

  • Democrats cast the outcome as clear evidence Youngkin overstepped by pushing for a 15-week abortion ban, among other conservative policies.
  • Meanwhile, Youngkin's PAC emphasized the closeness of the races and noted Republicans still managed to win 13 districts President Biden had carried in 2020 and seven congressional districts Democrats carried in last year's midterms.

Zoom in: Youngkin told reporters he stands by his decision to campaign on a 15-week ban.

  • "Voters want to find a place to come together, and that's what I think we tried to represent — reasonableness — and I think in the long-term, reasonableness is where people will come together."

The other side: Democratic Party of Virginia chair Susan Swecker said she agrees with Youngkin that the state is purple, but she said Republicans lost because of their position on abortion.

  • "There's no equivocation on this," she said. "Virginia voters wanted to keep abortion legal in Virginia."

The intrigue: Youngkin didn't entirely shut the door to the 2024 presidential buzz that has followed him, but he didn't leave it open very wide, either, repeating that he "isn't going anywhere" and is "staying focused on Virginia, just like I have."

What we're hearing: Those around Youngkin believe he's too smart to enter the 2024 race — even if Republicans had triumphed last night and flipped the Senate, reports Axios' Cuneyt Dil.

  • "I don't know anyone who knows him that thinks he's going to run for president in 2024," one source close to the governor said.

Yes, but: No one in the governor's orbit would be surprised by a Youngkin 2028 campaign.


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