Politics Youngkin says education can be a winning issue for Republicans
Glenn Youngkin saved the Republican Party and helped save America's democracy
Youngkin wisely accepted Donald Trump’s rhetorical support while maintaining physical distance and keeping him out of the campaign.As for the former president himself, Youngkin avoided alienating Trump's voter base, which is strong in rural Virginia, while keeping him at a respectful distance by never appearing with him at public rallies or even participating in remote, phone-in events with him. He scored points with moderate suburban voters by ignoring Trump's caustic warning that "The only guys that win are the guys that embrace the MAGA movement. ... They have to embrace it.
Incoming Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) on Wednesday said education can be a winning issue for Republicans in future elections, after the political newcomer turned his focus on schools and won the Old Dominion's gubernatorial race earlier this month.
Youngkin, speaking to attendees at the annual Republican Governors Association meeting in Phoenix, said that while polls rank education as a non-important issue, it is top of mind for voters.
Glenn Youngkin's choice of transition co-chair signals conservative Virginia governorship
Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin announced the leadership of his transition team on Wednesday, signaling a conservative governing style to fit his campaign rhetoric. Youngkin tapped outgoing Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James to serve as co-chairman of his transition team, along with state Sen. Steve Newman. James, a lifelong Virginia resident, has led Heritage since 2018, and she announced back in March that she would step down later this year.
"The polls kept telling us that education was the seventh or eighth or ninth most important issue," Youngkin said, according to . "Let me tell you, it is the top issue right now, and Republicans across the country can own this topic."
The former CEO of a private equity firm turned politician bested former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) in the earlier this month, shocking many who saw the commonwealth as reliably blue following the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.
Youngkin's campaign consistently focused on the issue of education and school curricula, emphasizing that parents should play a role in deciding what their children learn in the classroom. One of his slogans was "parents matter."
Parents are the new electoral power players
A growing national movement threatens the teachers unions' dominance.Although the media have generally conceded that the election had to do with parents upset about their children’s educational experiences, anchors have consistently repeated McAuliffe’s mantra that critical race theory “is not being taught in Virginia public schools.” At this point, some anchors are essentially covering their ears and closing their eyes, rocking back and forth, and repeating what they wish to be true.
The Republican's campaign also hammered McAuliffe for saying during a debate: "I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach."
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, wrote in a memo after the gubernatorial race that the GOP
Youngkin also won by keeping a distance from former President Trump while touting his policies that are popular among GOP voters. The nominee accepted the former president's endorsement, but the two never campaigned in person together.
The incoming governor on Wednesday said that while the Republican Party has "historically been a bit on our heels" when it comes to the issue of education, GOP candidates can now win races by advocating for "strong schools that teach our children how to excel, not watering down the curriculum, a school where parents have a say in what their children are being taught," according to the AP.
He also said Republicans can secure future wins by focusing on "kitchen table economic issues" and local matters, rather than putting an emphasis on national politics.
Additionally, Youngkin pointed to his successful strategy of not railing against the results of the 2020 presidential election, but instead implementing a forward-looking vision.
"I have fundamentally campaigned on looking forward and not looking backward," Youngkin said, according to the AP, while noting that he does plan on "investing in our election process going forward so Virginians can trust our election process."
'Election integrity' rally raises controversy .
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe called on his GOP opponent to Glenn Youngkin to cancel his appearance at an "election integrity rally" next weekend. Susan Swecker, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, called on the 5th District Republicans to cancel the event altogether.