RICHMOND, Va. - Glenn Youngkin has won the 2021 GOP nomination to be Virginia's next governor.
The race featured six other candidates. The next closest candidate in votes, Pete Snyder, conceded conceded on Monday night.
"It's a different kind of campaign - a different kind of playbook than Republicans have been running," Youngkin told News 3 on Tuesday. "I'm an outsider. I've never done this before."
While certainly would have preferred a W, I send my heartfelt congratulations to @glennyoungkin on a tremendous race + deserved win. He + the ticket have my 100% support. Grateful to @Bursonsnyder + entire team. Love you all + our big family that is the VA GOP. #openourschools— Pete Snyder (@petesnyder) May 11, 2021
In a statement on Twitter, Youngkin said he is "prepared to lead" and "excited to serve" in the position.
I am prepared to lead, excited to serve and profoundly humbled by the trust the people have placed in me. Virginians have made it clear that they are ready for a political outsider with proven business experience to bring real change in Richmond.— Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) May 11, 2021
Youngkin spent part of his childhood in Hampton Roads, attending Norfolk Academy for high school. He now lives in Northern Virginia.
He's the former head of an investment firm and loaned his campaign more than $5 million, allowing him to have a big presence in TV ads over the last few months.
"I think success in Virginia and success in America actually should be something that's celebrated. That's what I'm bringing to this campaign - an actual learned recognition of what it means to work hard," Youngkin said.
On Tuesday morning, former President Donald Trump endorsed Youngkin. His statement said in part, "Congratulations to Glenn Youngkin for winning the Republican nomination for Governor of Virginia. Glenn is pro-Business, pro-Second Amendment, pro-Veterans, pro-America, he knows how to make Virginia’s economy rip-roaring, and he has my Complete and Total Endorsement!"
Youngkind said he welcomes the support. "I was humbled by [the endorsement] and I appreciate the fact that he stepped in immediately to endorse," said Youngkin. "It just reflects the fact that we're bringing together everyone."
Democrats blasted the endorsement. Trump lost in Virginia by ten percent last November. "Instead of focusing on moving Virginia forward from the COVID pandemic, Youngkin focused his campaign on one thing: proving his loyalty to Donald Trump," said Susan Swecker, the chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia.
Dr. Eric Claville, a political analyst from Norfolk State University, said Youngkin could pose a threat if he can find the right message. "As a Republican he's considered an outsider. He's considered a conservative, but he's not too far right," he said.
Democrats are picking their statewide candidates through a primary in June. Youngkin and his fellow Republicans are hoping to reverse a losing streak. Republicans haven't won a statewide race in the Commonwealth since 2009. "Here we go it's day one. We're campaigning like crazy and I just look forward to this race and winning back Virginia," said Youngkin.
The Republican Party of Virginia also celebrated a win for Youngkin. Chairman Rich Anderson released the following statement:
"It is with great pleasure that I announce Glenn Youngkin as our Party nominee for governor of Virginia. Glenn ran a fantastic and flawless campaign, and I look forward to throwing my full support and the full force of the Republican Party of Virginia behind him in the coming months. I eagerly await his election on November 2, 2021, and his inauguration on January 15, 2022.
"I sincerely thank Amanda Chase, Kirk Cox, Peter Doran, Sergio de la Peña, Pete Snyder, and Octavia Johnson for stepping up for our Party. Their time, dedication, and sacrifice to the Republican Party has made immeasurable contributions to our Commonwealth, and it is my sincere hope that this isn't the last time we see them in the political arena.
"If Republicans are going to win in November, we must unite behind our nominees. We have the momentum, energy, and grassroots organization to send good, solid Republicans to Richmond - and we're going to fight harder than ever to ensure we do just that."
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz campaigned for Youngkin at Hunt Club Farm in Virginia Beach on Thursday, days before Saturday's GOP convention in which Virginia Republicans selected their statewide nominees for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
Del. Jason Miyares was announced as the party's nominee for attorney general Sunday night.
Vote tabulation to pick the party's nominee for lieutenant governor will pick up on Tuesday morning in Richmond.