The Virginia gubernatorial election has entered into its final months in the lead-up to election day in November. The most recent poll conducted by Co/efficient on behalf of Conservatives for Clean Energy shows former Governor Terry McAuliffe barely ahead of Republican Glenn Youngkin, after taking into consideration the poll’s margin of error.
Earlier this summer, Youngkin sat down with The Epoch Times for an interview about the most critical issues for his campaign. Youngkin came out of the primary confident in his standing amongst his voters and in speaking to voters about how his solutions solve their pressing needs.
Youngkin said, “We came out of the nomination process with a tremendous amount of momentum; the Republican Party really came together. The big issues that are so distinct between what Terry McAuliffe stands for and what I stand for are the kitchen table issues of all Virginians.”
Youngkin sees the economic recovery in the Commonwealth as a very crucial issue that affects all Virginians.
“The first big issue I see in Virginia is how do we get our economy moving and our job machine turned back on?” Youngkin said. “Terry believes that it comes from the central government dictating winners and losers and getting rid of right to work in Virginia. He is on the record saying that if a bill came to his desk getting rid of the right-to-work laws, he would sign it.”
Youngkin’s policies are “the exact opposite.”
“We need to peel back on government intervention. Virginia has got a stack of regulations that have piled on Virginia businesses and are crushing them. I plan to preserve the right-to-work laws so that workers in Virginia aren’t mandated to pay a portion of their paychecks to Terry McAuliffe’s union boss friends.”
Youngkin is also very concerned about the encroachment of critical race theory into Virginia schools.
“Virginia schools are in a state of chaos because of the left-liberal, progressive agenda that is being ramrodded across the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Youngkin said. “We kept our schools closed so unnecessarily and damaged kids across Virginia. We have infused a political agenda of critical race theory into the curriculum, and we are seeing parents stand up across Virginia, and acutely in Loudon County.”
Youngkin forecasts that the critical race theory issue will be an ongoing fight that will transform the debate over education in the Commonwealth.
“[The issue of critical race theory] is not a Loudon County moment; this is a Commonwealth-wide moment…and it’s not just Republicans. We need to press aggressively forward with school choice. We need more charter schools and a charter school program, and Terry stands in the way of that because he wants his teachers’ union friends to continue making that decision instead of the parents of the kids to make their own decisions.”
A final big topic that Youngkin is putting at the forefront of his campaign is community safety.
“Terry’s record as Governor speaks for itself, and he doesn’t even have a community safety policy on his website,” Youngkin said. “When he was Governor, the murder rate in Virginia went up 43 percent. Right now, we already have murder rates in Virginia at all-time highs, and that reflects the fact that Terry has no interest in supporting law enforcement. He’s on the record saying that he would sign a bill getting rid of qualified immunity.”
“I believe in investing in our law enforcement, so we have the best capabilities, which means protecting qualified immunity. We watched three sheriffs shift from Democrats to Republicans because they could no longer stand what the left-wing progressive Democrat Party was shoveling and that they didn’t want anymore.”
Youngkin believes that his campaign presents Virginians with a choice for the future of the Commonwealth.
As Youngkin put it, “These are the major differences between a campaign that is run by Terry McAuliffe, who just wants to recycle bad old policies [and mine]. One of his own competitors, Jennifer Carol Floy, made this point during the Democratic primary that Virginians don’t want old politicians and policies, and she was so right.”
“I am always clear to highlight that the Commonwealth of Virginia had fallen way behind prior to the pandemic. Our job creation numbers trailed the growth that we had seen in our peer states like North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia who we compete against to create jobs.
“Many of those states created 50 percent more jobs than Virginia, and that’s not even looking at the significant rise in our cost of living that is above the national average. Over the years, we have seen more Virginia families move to those states than move into Virginia from the rest of the 49 states.”
There is still a lot of time remaining between now and November, a gubernatorial debate, as well as a final push to turn out voters. Youngkin said that his campaign has momentum on its side, and that robust policy solutions will catapult him to the governor’s mansion in November.
Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe did not agree to be interviewed despite multiple requests.