Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin Reacts To GOP Losses In 2023 Elections

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Glenn Youngkin, the governor of Virginia, has commented on the outcomes of the 2023 election, in which Democrats secured majorities in the General Assembly of the state, undermining his ambition for total Republican control of the state government.

“I’m a little disappointed, to be clear,” Youngkin told reporters.

The governor, a Republican, spoke at a press conference held at the Virginia State Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, following Election Day. His update comes as Democrats are about to seize control of the House of Delegates with 51 seats and hold the Virginia Senate with 21 seats.

“This was a razor-thin set of decisions that were made on both sides of a number of these races,” Youngkin said in describing the result as closely decided. “And I think it underpins the fact that Virginia is clearly a state that has historically moved back and forth.”

Youngkin, who ran for a Republican “trifecta” in the state legislature following two years of a split-control legislature, suffered a significant setback in this election. To pass conservative legislation, he required a Republican majority, which was a key selling point if he hoped to pursue a career in national politics.

Youngkin insisted that Democratic control of the General Assembly would not differ from his first two years in office, despite the setback, and that the parties would cooperate on the issues.

“I am optimistic that we will find these most important areas to come together over and over again because that’s exactly what we have done,” Youngkin said. “I look forward to working with the House and Senate going forward just like we have.”

Democrats celebrated Tuesday’s result, largely attributing it to their candidates’ pledges to uphold abortion rights and defeat Youngkin’s proposed 15-week ban with exceptions.

Following Youngkin’s remarks, Susan Swecker, the chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, told reporters that while she agreed with the governor that Virginia is a purple state, she disagreed with him on the subject of abortion.

Youngkin talked briefly about his proposal to outlaw abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which he felt was a fair middle ground between party positions that most people could support.

He implied that even in the event that the legislature was controlled by Democrats, he would not give up on the cause.

Youngkin’s unexpected entry into the Republican primary for the 2024 presidential contest—a move that has long been the subject of public speculation—was also largely attributed to the results of the election.

Wednesday, during a question-and-answer session with reporters, Youngkin reiterated his focus on Virginia and not the presidential race.

Prof. Dr. Soji Akomolafe of Norfolk State University stated that he thought Youngkin and any aspirations to the White House were dealt a blow by the Democratic sweep.

The NSU professor added, though, that Youngkin’s capacity for fundraising should not be undervalued. One of the most important factors going forward, according to Akomolafe, will be his ability to maintain his popularity.

Furthermore, Youngkin disclosed to reporters on Wednesday that he has not yet communicated with Democratic leadership since they have not yet formally announced who will lead the upcoming General Assembly.