As Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) term comes to a close, the Saturday inauguration of Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin brings with it lofty goals and high expectations from Virginians who sought a new path after eight years of Democrat governors and two years of full Democrat control of government.
Youngkin himself set the expectations high, as he closed out his campaign setting “day one” transformative goals ranging from firing the Commonwealth’s entire five-member parole board after a series of scandals to restoring parents’ rights to make educational decisions for their children.
“It’s time for Virginia to be the place where everyone wants to live, not leave, a place where the relentless pursuit for a better life for prosperity is not burdened or blocked by self-interested politicians who are more focused on their futures than those they were elected to serve,” he said as part of his victory speech in November.
The upset Republican win in the blue-leaning Old Dominion — which saw not just Youngkin defeat former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, but also Republican wins in the lieutenant governor’s office, attorney general’s office, and the lower chamber of the General Assembly — was marked by record-breaking turnout and education becoming a dark horse issue against Democrats who decided to almost entirely focus their campaign on former President Donald Trump, not the Commonwealth of Virginia.