Governor Glenn Youngkin will attend a meet-and-greet in Kansas Thursday with gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Derek Schmidt, stop in Texas Friday for an appearance at the Texas Tribune Festival, and then headline an event for Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on September 27. Republican governors campaigning for other Republicans are a normal feature of an election year with a number of high-profile races, but Youngkin’s national appearances have also raised questions about Youngkin’s aspirations for higher office, which Youngkin himself has largely brushed off.
“No question that Glenn Youngkin is running for president. That’s one of the main reasons he wanted to become governor of Virginia,” Virginia Star Publisher John Fredericks said. “There’s nothing wrong with that aspiration, as long as he continues to be an extraordinary governor of Virginia.”
Fredericks said Youngkin and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are prepping to run in 2024 if former President Donald Trump does not run again.
“He’ll never take on Trump because he will not want to alienate the entire MAGA, America First base,” Fredericks, a former Trump Virginia chairman, said.
In that case, Youngkin would be a viable candidate for president in 2028, Fredericks said.
On Tuesday, Schmidt and Kemp announced the campaign stops on Twitter.
“Excited to have Virginia Governor @GlennYoungkin coming to Kansas on Thursday to support our campaign. He’s done an incredible job in Virginia putting parents and students first in education – which is what I’ll do as governor,” Schmidt said.
On Wednesday, The Washington Examiner reported Youngkin’s stop at the festival in Texas, where he’ll have a one-on-one interview along with a question-and-answer session in front of a center-left political audience.
“Youngkin aims to show he is equally comfortable – appealing, even – under a media spotlight and in front of voters, often skeptical of conservative Republicans like Virginia’s governor,” The Examiner reported.
Earlier this summer, Senate Minority Leader Thomas Norment (R-James City) referred to presidential ambitions from Virginia’s governors and said, “I am hopeful that maybe [Youngkin] will intensify his focus on the Commonwealth’s issues.”
Fredericks told The Star, “I like the fact that he’s traveling. I think it’s sour-grapes criticism. They all wish they could be him. They’re not, and so, they’re stuck in their districts trying to figure out how to maneuver their way through a minority and deal with Joe Morrissey.”
America First Legal Deputy Director of Investigations John Zadrozny told The Star, “It’s pretty clear Governor Youngkin is trying to do the bare minimum to appear to be a conservative but he’s got a lot more work to do and should spend more time in the state.”
AFL is helmed by former Trump advisor Stephen Miller.
Zadrozny said, “Honestly, he should stop running for president and run Virginia as he promised he would.”
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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Brian Kemp” by Brian Kemp. Photo “Derek Schmidt” by Derek Schmidt. Background Photo “Voting Booths” by Tim Evanson. CC BY-SA 2.0.
Editor’s Note: John Fredericks is the Publisher of The Virginia Star.