Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin is continuing his rollout of key administration announcements. On Monday, he announced that Youngkin campaign COO and Transition Director Jeff Goettman will be chief of staff. On Tuesday morning, he announced that Craig Crenshaw will be the secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs of Virginia. On Tuesday evening, he announced that USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Matt Lohr will serve as Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry.
Youngkin’s Monday announcement also included former Attorney General Richard Cullen to be counselor to the Governor, Brunswick Group Director Rebecca Glover to be deputy chief of staff and communications director, and McKinsey and Company Partner Eric Moeller to be chief transformation officer. Goettman, Cullen, Glover, and Moeller all have experience as corporate leaders. Cullen donated $15,000 to Youngkin’s campaign. He’s also a partner at major Virginia law firm McGuire Woods, which gave $50,000 combined to Youngkin’s campaign and inaugural committee.
“I am excited to welcome this group of leaders with a record of experience and serving others. These qualified individuals with various backgrounds bring vast experience that ensure we will deliver on our Day One promises for all Virginians in making Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” Youngkin said in the Monday press release.
Crenshaw is president of Claxton Logistics Services, and has served logistics leadership roles for the military. Former Senate candidate Daniel Gade will be commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services. After losing in his campaign for Senate, Gade created the New Mission PAC, focused on advocating for veterans and helping them run for office. After Republicans nominated Youngkin, Gade put his PAC on ice and served as the Youngkin campaign’s director of coalitions. The New Mission PAC gave Youngkin’s campaign $16,500.
Lohr is a former Virginia delegate (R-Harrisonburg) who left office when Governor Bob McDonnell appointed him to be the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS.) He’s also served as president of his family’s farming operation. Youngkin’s Tuesday announcement said that his DACS commissioner will be Joseph Guthrie, a former Pulaski County School Board member and current Pulaski County Board of Supervisors chair. McDonnell appointed Guthrie to the Virginia Cattle Industry Board, and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed him to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board. Guthrie and his family live on their cattle farm near Dublin.
Youngkin said in the press release, “Agriculture is the Commonwealth’s largest independent industry and plays a crucial role in Virginia’s economy and communities. Matt, and Joseph bring decades worth of hands-on experience that will give Virginia a competitive advantage in the agriculture industry. Together, we will deliver for our ranchers, farmers, and all Virginians to help ensure our farmers and ranchers thrive.”
Youngkin announced three cabinet positions Christmas week, before taking a break for the holidays. The Virginia Public Access Project is maintaining a list of Youngkin appointments and the dates of the announcements, compared to his predecessors. Youngkin still has six cabinet positions left to announce. He’s set to be inaugurated January 15.
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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Glenn Youngkin” by Glenn Youngkin. Background Photo “Virginia Capitol” by Anderskev. CC BY 3.0.