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Virginia, It’s Time For a Leadership Change

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

In the last year, we have been tested in ways that we never imagined – lives lost, jobs lost, more divided than I have seen in my lifetime. For Americans hoping the new Biden Administration would forgo division and the temptation of a hard left turn, the past week was disappointing and discouraging to many Americans. To name just a few reasons, 11,000 American jobs were lost with the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, and China again received free passes on environmental and global health standards. 


In my home state of Virginia, Democrats in control have continued to pursue policies making Virginia bad for business, prolonging the pain of the pandemic and expanding government at the expense of our rights and pocketbooks. In November, we have the chance to elect a new governor and choose a new playbook to make Virginia the best place to live, work and raise a family.

Under liberal control for the last eight years, Virginia’s economy stalled, with our economy growing significantly slower than our neighbors, North Carolina, Tennessee and Maryland. Those states created more jobs and more opportunities, while Virginia’s politicians kept making bad decisions that drove unemployment and the cost of living even higher.

To complete this failing report card, Virginia is nearly dead last in the entire country when it comes to distributing the coronavirus vaccine. For people who lost their job during the pandemic, Virginia was also dead last – 50 out of 50 – in the time it takes to process unemployment claims that require staff review. During a time when faith and prayer were especially needed, politicians in Richmond opened massage parlors and kept our churches closed. Meanwhile, parents striving to provide for their families are watching their children struggle in front of computers and lose another year of in-person learning. 


Virginia deserves so much better.

Career politicians are not the solution. Government will not lead our rebound – our resurgence lives in the hearts, spirit and resilience of Virginians. We need new ideas, new solutions, and new conservative leadership to stop the downward spiral in Richmond.

That’s why I’m running for governor: to rebuild and reimagine Virginia’s future and make it the best place in America to live, work and raise a family. I'm not a politician. I've spent the last 30 years raising my family, serving in our church, building business and creating jobs. I know how to bring people together, solve problems, and get things done.

I grew up in Richmond. When my dad lost his job, we moved to Virginia Beach where I got a job washing dishes in a diner to help out. I worked hard, and eventually moved up to flipping eggs. I’d wake up early, ride my bike about 5 miles to work, and get ready for customers.

When I wasn’t at the diner or going to school, I was on the basketball court. With the help of great coaches, I earned a college basketball scholarship. After getting a business degree, I went on to help build a small firm into one of the top companies in the world. 

Last year I decided to step away from my business career. As I looked around Virginia, I was frustrated by what I saw and decided that I could either complain about it or get to work to change things for the better.


As governor, I will safely open our small businesses, protect public health and get Virginians back to work. Virginia should be at the top of the list when companies are considering where to call home, and we should stop losing the businesses that are here. If I am elected governor, Virginia will truly be open for business. We will unleash growth and increase opportunity for all Virginians. We will help families keep more of their paychecks by reducing fees and taxes and cutting unnecessary regulations. We will safely get our children back in the classroom, and we will tackle the ever-increasing tuition rates that put Virginia’s universities out of reach for too many of our residents.

We will protect our Constitutional rights, including the Second Amendment, and defend the right to life.

For all Virginians, we will restore confidence in the integrity of our elections by taking common-sense steps like restoring the independence of Virginia’s Department of Elections, safeguarding clean voter rolls and strengthening voter ID requirements.

Virginia doesn’t need another career politician. It needs a new kind of leader who has the real-world experience and the know-how to make our state government work for Virginians. I’ve been tested, I’m trusted, and I can’t wait to bring people together so Virginia is back in the game. I hope you’ll join our team.


Glenn Youngkin is a homegrown Virginian and Republican candidate for governor. He spent 30 years in the private sector as a business leader. He, his wife Suzanne and their four children live in Northern Virginia. 

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