What Virginia Republican Governor Victory Could Mean for 2022 Election

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin arrives to speak at an election night party in Chantilly, Va., early Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, after he defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin won the race for governor in Virginia. Youngkin won 50.7% of the vote and Democratic challenger Terry McAuliffe won 48.6%, according to AP.

It is a major upset against the Democrats in a state that voted solidly for Joe Biden by double digits just one year ago.

"This is the spirit of Virginia coming together like never before," Youngkin told supporters in a hotel ballroom in Chantilly.

Youngkin promised to lead with "a vision where Virginians' power, the power that has historically resided in the marble halls in Richmond is spread out, spread out into the kitchen tables that are held together with the bond and the spirit of liberty and freedom."

McAuliffe led the race for months, but Youngkin gained the momentum in the last few weeks and even took the lead in polls heading into Election Day over the issue of parental rights and public schools. The outcome of this race is widely seen as a referendum on Biden's presidency, and it could serve as a predictor for next year's congressional elections.

Other big races happened in Virginia too. In the contest for Lieutenant Governor, Republican Winsome Sears defeated Democrat Haya Ayala.

In the battle for Attorney General between Republican Jason Miyares and Democrat incumbent Mark Herring, Miyares claimed victory as Virginia's first Latino Attorney General.

Youngkin, a political newcomer and businessman, cast himself as an outsider with a focus on the economy and education. He's vowing to stand up for parents alarmed about left-wing school curricula and he's pledging to ban what critics call "critical race theory." He says a positive campaign of conservative ideals will help him win because Virginians want change.

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