McAuliffe Accepts Defeat in Hard-Fought Virginia Governor’s Race
(Bloomberg) -- Democrat Terry McAuliffe conceded the Virginia governor’s race to Republican Glenn Youngkin Wednesday morning, a day after the suburban and independent voters who had handed the state to President Joe Biden fled to the GOP.
“While last night we came up short, I am proud that we spent this campaign fighting for the values we so deeply believe in. We must protect Virginia’s great public schools and invest in our students,” McAuliffe said.
“We must protect affordable health care coverage, raise the minimum wage faster, and expand paid leave so working families have a fighting shot,” he added. “We must protect voting rights, protect a woman’s right to choose, and, above all else, we must protect our democracy.”
Youngkin’s victory makes him the first Republican to win statewide since 2009 and offers Republicans a road map for how to prevail in the crucial 2022 midterm elections, by focusing on issues like education and the economy, that are core to suburban voters. He ran a campaign that was able to retain former President Donald Trump’s base, while appealing to independents who voted for Democrats in recent elections because they were repelled by Trump.
A political newcomer and former co-CEO of Carlyle Group Inc., Youngkin rejected Trump’s help several times during the campaign, declining to participate in a tele-rally with him on Monday. But he also welcomed the former president’s endorsement and praised him during the Republican primary.
McAuliffe, a former governor and former chair of the Democratic National Committee, had drawn on his party’s heavyweights including former President Barack Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams to try to rally his base, especially Black voters, but support for him collapsed in the final weeks of the campaign.
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