https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10739697/Virginias-new-Republican-governor-launches-two-political-groups-fueling-White-House-speculation.html

Is Glenn Youngkin considering running for President in 2024: Virginia’s new Republican governor launches two national political groups to take on Democrats and join governor races across the country

  • A senior political adviser to Youngkin told DailyMail.com that he is ‘excited’ to help ‘those who will flip blue states to red, just as he did in Virginia last year’ 
  • His groups are nonprofit America’s Spirit, and a political action committee named Spirit of Virginia, which ran an ad pushing his budget in March 
  • Youngkin hasn’t given hints he’s considering a potential 2024 presidential bid 
  • But his starting of new political fundraising operations follows similar steps taken by other people floated as GOP White House hopefuls like Mike Pence
  • He said in September that he would support Trump in a re-election bid — if the former president were the Republican nominee on the national ballot 

A senior adviser to Youngkin’s new PAC said the governor is ‘excited’ to help fellow Republicans ‘flip blue states red’ in a statement to DailyMail.com

Barely six months into his first term as governor of Virginia, Republican Glenn Youngkin is already generating buzz over whether his winning strategy in the Commonwealth can translate into a successful White House run in 2024, a Thursday report suggests.

Youngkin, who beat former governor and Democrat powerhouse Terry McAuliffe last year in his first-ever political campaign, is wading into national political territory with two new groups aimed at furthering Republicans’ agenda. 

One is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization called America’s Spirit that isn’t required to disclose donors but will have rules in place for how it spends its cash, Politico reports.

The other is a more traditional political action committee known as Spirit of Virginia. Such PACs, classified under the Internal Revenue Service’s 527 code, are tax-exempt and aimed at influencing the ‘selection, nomination, election, appointment, or defeat of candidates for federal, state, or local public office.’

A senior adviser to Youngkin’s PAC told DailyMail.com that the governor is looking to help Republicans ‘flip blue states to red’ and continue the ‘movement’ started by his successful and nationally-watched campaign. 

‘Governor Youngkin started a movement around kitchen table issues in Virginia last year, adn that movement has sparked in states around the country — just recall Democrat governors following Governor Youngkin’s lead to remove masks from schools,’ Spirit of Virginia and Youngkin senior adviser Kristin Davison said. 

‘He is excited to grow that movement and keep the momentum going to help others win, especially those who will flip blue states to red, just as he did in Virginia last year.’ 

Spirit of Virginia was behind a 30-second ad that aired on local TV screens in late March calling on the state legislature to pass Youngkin’s budget proposal.

‘We’re going into overtime in Virginia’s Capitol,’ Youngkin said in the March Madness-themed $150,000 ad. ‘And we’ve gotta make this last shot.’ 

The PAC, Spirit of Virginia, released a March Madness-themed ad starring Youngkin that urged legislators in the Commonwealth to pass his budget proposal, around the same time he called a special session to put pressure on state officials to get it done

The PAC, Spirit of Virginia, released a March Madness-themed ad starring Youngkin that urged legislators in the Commonwealth to pass his budget proposal, around the same time he called a special session to put pressure on state officials to get it done

Thursday’s report notes that Youngkin could use his new political groups to extend influence in governor’s races across the country — 36 are set to be underway in November. More than half of those states currently have Republican governors. 

He could also reportedly use the cash raised to help federal GOP lawmakers in neighboring Washington, DC in their efforts to unseat two House Democrats in this year’s midterms.

Youngkin, who was a private equity executive before taking the helm of Virginia’s government, is apparently looking at bolstering other candidates through both cash donations and hosting events on their behalf, people familiar with his thinking told Politico.

The governor could also use his two groups to help state politicians flip Virginia’s state Senate red in the 2023 elections, which would give Republicans full control over the Commonwealth for the second half of Youngkin’s term.

Top Republicans who have been floated as possible 2024 White House contenders have similarly started their own fundraising operations. 

That includes three former Trump administration officials, ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, as well as former Vice President Mike Pence. Pence’s nonprofit group regularly hits at the Biden administration’s policy shortcomings. 

Like the others, Youngkin would not say whether he plans to seek higher office in the future. He’s never publicly been open to the idea, either. 

Youngkin's successful strategy involved campaigning on 'kitchen table issues' that won over Independents and suburban voters who felt left behind by Democrats but were also wary of Donald Trump's bombastic brand of politics

Youngkin’s successful strategy involved campaigning on ‘kitchen table issues’ that won over Independents and suburban voters who felt left behind by Democrats but were also wary of Donald Trump’s bombastic brand of politics

Virginia’s constitution prevents him from seeking a second consecutive term as governor, forcing him to wait at least four years before running again.  

He said during an April 15 interview on CNBC, ‘I’ve got a new job in Virginia, and I’m extremely excited to be doing it.’

Youngkin also vowed to support Donald Trump if he ran for the White House in 2024, which the ex-president has teased on numerous occasions. 

However he specifically told NBC host Chuck Todd, when pressed at a September gubernatorial debate, that he would support Trump ‘if he was the Republican nominee’ — leaving the door open to backing a primary challenger. 

Youngkin’s campaign for governor is widely seen as a roadmap for how the GOP can navigate a post-Trump era. 

For months on the trail, the successful candidate kept Trump’s name out of his outreach efforts in favor of focusing on more local issues like education and COVID-19 pandemic health mandates. 

Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (third from left) by contrast ran a largely national campaign that saw prominent figures like President Joe Biden campaign alongside the former political powerhouse

Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (third from left) by contrast ran a largely national campaign that saw prominent figures like President Joe Biden campaign alongside the former political powerhouse 

And he’s stayed true to his pledges on those issues, banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory and ending school mask mandates among a slew of executive orders signed on his first day in office. 

The strategy managed to win over Independent voters and people in the DC suburbs who felt alienated by Trump’s bombastic rhetoric but were also unhappy with how Democrats were running the government. 

The relatively localized campaign is also a stark contrast to the one run by McAuliffe, who invited a marquee of national Democrat names to descend on Virginia. 

Rather than addressing kitchen table issues, the former governor’s primary run focused on tying Youngkin as closely to Trump as possible in the hopes of setting up another 2020 race. 

He got help from President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at a time when their poll numbers were sinking rapidly. 

And despite rarely discussing him during the heated race, Youngkin had managed to clinch Trump’s endorsement after beating out a primary challenger for the GOP nomination. 

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