Republican Glenn Youngkin celebrated his win in the Virginia governor’s race early Wednesday morning, taking the stage in Chantilly to Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” at 1:05 a.m. ET after waiting for the major television networks to call the race.
Youngkin delivered a shortened version of his stump speech, discussing his agenda for his first day in office in January — starting with education, the topic that animated many of Youngkin’s crowds.
“On day one, we’re going to work,” he said. “We’re going to restore excellence in our schools.”
He said he would seek the largest education budget in Virginia’s history for teacher raises and would launch an expansive school choice program, including new charter schools.
“We’re going to embrace our parents, not ignore them. We’re going to press forward with a curriculum that includes listening to parents, as well as a curriculum that allows our children to run as fast as they can, teaching them how to think, enabling their dreams to soar. Friends, we are going to re-establish excellence in our schools,” he said.
He did not mention critical race theory, even though in his stump speech during the campaign’s closing weeks he frequently said he would ban critical race theory from Virginia’s schools.
He also repeated his plans to eliminate Virginia’s grocery tax, suspend the most recent increase in the gas tax and double standard deductions on income taxes.
The crowd in the Westfields Marriott ballroom had been watching Fox News all night, and erupted in a huge cheer at 12:41 a.m. ET when the network projected — minutes after CNN and other networks had done so — that Youngkin had won the race.
Youngkin was introduced by his wife, who described the day he had told her he wanted to quit his job as chief executive of the private equity firm The Carlyle Group the next day and run for governor.
She said her first reaction was, “Clearly, you’re having a midlife crisis.” But she said Youngkin felt a “call on his heart” to public service.
“A defining moment together started with two people on a walk,” Youngkin said. “And a defining moment that is now millions of Virginians walking together — walking together, sharing dreams, hopes.”