RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Faced with questions about his 2024 presidential ambitions, Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) said he’s focused on the upcoming Virginia General Assembly elections.
Youngkin spoke with reporters Monday before touring the Richmond Marine Terminal, where he announced Virginia’s agricultural trade numbers.
The governor was asked whether he would wait to declare a run for president until after this year’s General Assembly elections. He pivoted, using a common tactic when questions about a potential 2024 run come up — talk about Virginia.
Youngkin said he was proud of the progress Virginia has made under his administration, touting tax cuts and investments in education and law enforcement. He also expressed enthusiasm for the state elections, saying he believes Republicans can take the Virginia Senate in November.
“This is our moment,” Youngkin said. “So, I am wholly focused on the commonwealth of Virginia and I’m looking forward to these elections this year.”
All 140 General Assembly seats are on the ballot this November. Virginia Republicans hope to maintain control of the House of Delegates and seize a majority in the State Senate, a scenario that would give Republicans total control of the state government and help Youngkin get his big-ticket legislative agenda items through to his desk.
Speculation that Youngkin is eyeing a presidential run has grown since his 2021 win in Virginia’s governor’s race.
The governor made several campaign stops across the country for Republican candidates last year, continues to speak at high-profile conservative events and is hauling in millions for his political action committee, which he has used to support GOP candidates in the commonwealth.
Youngkin said he had no issues with two of his former political advisors – Jeff Roe and Matt Wolking – from joining a super PAC backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for president. The governor was asked if those decisions mean he won’t pursue a run for president next year.
“It means they made a decision to do something that they wanted to do from a business standpoint, and I still view them as trusted counselors and we’re focused on Virginia,” Youngkin said Monday. “And I just think that’s a really important moment for us to recognize that Virginia is doing extremely well, and we have our midterm elections this year and I want to make sure that we’re focused on it.
“Listen, I didn’t write a book, and I’m not in Iowa or New Hampshire or South Carolina because the road to holding our House and winning our Senate majority is through greater Richmond and Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia and I-81 corridor. And this is what this year is all about.”