RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Ralph Northam left a life-size cutout of former President Donald Trump in his old office for Gov. Glenn Youngkin to find, continuing a tradition where the outgoing Virginia governor pranks their successor.
Trump is holding his thumbs up in the cutout and there’s a typed out message next to the mouth that reads: “I will call soon — we need to talk about 2024!”
Just like his predecessor, Northam played a few practical jokes on the incoming governor before leaving the Executive Mansion. The Democrat left flags from the University of Houston, the rival of Rice University, the school Youngkin attended and played basketball at, according to the governor’s spokesperson.
Youngkin’s office told 8News that Northam also left several pictures of himself all over the mansion, including in surprising places like the bathroom.
Among the gag gifts was a book from former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, one of Youngkin’s opponents in the election. In the cafeteria area of the mansion, Northam’s staff also left a poster of McAuliffe’s accomplishments.
The Trump cutout was left in the governor’s office, a Youngkin aide who saw the cutout told 8News. A blue fleece vest was also left for the governor, the aide said. The red fleece vest Youngkin wore during campaign events became a trademark ahead of the election.
The vest left by Northam is blue, the color associated with Democrats, and instead of having “Youngkin” on the front, it reads: “Top State For Business.”
CNBC rated Virginia the top state for business two years in a row, the network did not award the title in 2020, an accolade that Northam and Democrats promoted. But Youngkin dismissed the honor, saying on the campaign trail that he believed Virginia had not performed as the top state business over the last eight years.
Before he left office, McAuliffe left pillows with images of his face on them with the quote “sleep when you’re dead” for Northam’s first night in the Executive Mansion.