Youngkin wins Virginia governor’s race, shaking Democrats

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Youngkin, a political neophyte and former private equity executive, was able to take advantage of the apparent apathy of leading Democratic voters tired from years of elections seen as unavoidable. He successfully portrayed McAuliffe, a former governor of Virginia, chairman of the Democratic National Committee and close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, as part of an elite class of politicians. He also caught a late stumble from McAuliffe, who, during a debate, suggested that parents should have a minimal role in curriculum development.

Perhaps most importantly, Youngkin prevailed in a task that blocked dozens of Republicans before him: attracting the Trump base while also drawing in suburban voters who were repelled by the former president’s divisive behavior. .

During the campaign, Youngkin declared his support for “electoral integrity,” a nod to Trump’s lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, while also focusing on education and pro-business policies. He never campaigned in person with Trump, successfully defying McAuliffe’s efforts to portray him as a clone of the former president.

This approach could provide a model for Republicans competing in future races that feature a significant number of Democratic or Independent voters.

In addition to the stinging defeat of the Democrats in Virginia, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy was in a tight fight as he sought to become the first Democratic governor to be re-elected there in more than four decades.

Meanwhile, the New York and Boston mayoral competitions in St. Louis, Detroit and Seattle have promised to reshape leadership in many of the nation’s largest cities. Former Democratic police captain Eric Adams claimed victory in New York, and voters in Boston elected city councilor Michelle Wu, the first woman mayor of Asian American descent. Cincinnati also has its first Asian American mayor, Aftab Pureval.

Voters in Minneapolis rejected a voting initiative that sought to reshuffle police in their city, where George Floyd was killed by a white cop on Memorial Day 2020, sparking the biggest wave of protests against racial injustice in generations . The initiative reportedly replaced the police force with a public security ministry tasked with undertaking a “comprehensive public health” approach that would increase funding for violence prevention, send mental health experts in response to some calls emergency and would include police “if necessary.” ”

But no other contest during this off-year election season has received the level of national attention – and money – like the governor’s race in Virginia, a state with large bands of suburban voters having studied academically who are increasingly influential in controlling Congress and the White House.

A former co-CEO of the Carlyle Group with a lanky 6-inch-6-inch build that made him a reserve forward on the Rice University basketball team, Youngkin invested much of his personal fortune in a campaign that spent over $ 59 million. Preferring fleece vests, Youngkin sought to cut the image of a brilliant suburban dad, often opening meetings with prayer.

Youngkin confidently ran on a conservative platform. He opposed a major clean energy mandate the state adopted two years ago and opposed abortion in most circumstances.

He also supported a business-friendly approach to the state’s economy, opposed mask and vaccine mandates, pledged to expand Virginia’s limited charter schools, and outlaw critical theory of race, an academic framework that focuses on the idea that racism is systemic in nation’s institutions and that they function to maintain white dominance. In recent months, it has become a catch-all political buzzword for teaching in schools about race and American history.

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