Glenn Youngkin on Tuesday became the first Republican to win a statewide race in Virginia since 2009. The businessman defeated Democrat candidate and former Virginia governor, Terry McAuliffe, winning the state’s 2021 gubernatorial election. The victory is a historic turning of the tides from blue strongholds to what some are considering the start of a “red wave” for the 2022 midterm elections.
“Well done Glenn Youngkin. This is the start of many wins to come. The Red Wave is here,” said House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Capitalizing on the culture wars over education, parental rights, and Critical Race Theory, Youngkin rallied from behind as the underdog to pull the upset; winning the state of Virginia where Joe Biden won by ten points last year. The competition was close, but Youngkin gained momentum by highlighting his support for parents to have more authority over the curriculum taught in their child’s classroom.
In contrast, McAuliffe received heavy blowback after saying, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” proving to be a pivotal moment during the final debate for the office of governor.
Alienating parents and bashing Trump while associating Youngkin with the 45th president proved to be a failed strategy of the McAuliffe campaign. Youngkin, on the other hand, magnified issues related to home like the state’s economy and lowering taxes.
Speaking from a Grand Mart International Food store in Virginia Beach, Youngkin said, “We’re going to eliminate the grocery tax. We’re going to save everyone some money.”
Although Trump never campaigned with Youngkin, he did prove to be a winning factor. Trump endorsed Youngkin earlier in the year, and encouraged the MAGA base to turnout in droves. “If my base turns out, he’s gonna win. And I hope they turn out. I really want them to turn out,” said Trump in an interview one day before the election.
To be governing alongside Glenn Youngkin will be Winsome Sears. Sears defeated Democrat challenger, Hala Ayala, to become the first Republican Lt. Governor in the state since 2014.
As if making history one time wasn’t enough, the Marine Corps veteran and Jamaican immigrant is the first black woman to win a statewide election in the Commonwealth. In addition to Republicans winning the highest offices in the state, Republican candidate, Jason Miyares, won the election for Attorney General, defeating the Democrat incumbent, Mark Herring.
Losing Virginia is a deafening blow for the Democrats, but that’s not the only state that Republicans scored victories in last night. Mike Carey won Ohio’s 15th Congressional District. Republicans won all seven council seats in Tom’s River New Jersey. In Texas, John Lujan, a Republican, flipped the Texas State House seat 118 in San Antonio, adding to the GOP win margins.
With eyes set on taking back control of the congressional majority, Republicans hope to ride November’s red wave into the midterm elections next year.