A former executive at The Carlyle Group, a global investment firm, Youngkin pitched himself as a businessman and an outsider. He defeated six other nominees through ranked-choice ballots, which were calculated until the final round to determine the winner.
“I am prepared to lead, excited to serve and profoundly humbled by the trust the people have placed in me,” Youngkin tweeted. “Virginians have made it clear that they are ready for a political outsider with proven business experience to bring real change in Richmond.”
He put a heavy emphasis on cultural issues important to the Republican base. In recent days, Youngkin had picked up endorsements from prominent Republicans Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt.
The announcement comes after the party’s “unassembled convention” Saturday, where GOP delegates voted at 39 sites across the commonwealth. Republicans picked the format after months of dispute about the process.
The final round came down to Youngkin and another businessman, Pete Snyder. Both supported former President Donald Trump and led the field in campaign spending — chiefly on ads going after each other as competing “outsider” candidates.
They also tried to draw on support from figures in Trump’s broader political world. Several members of Youngkin’s staff are veterans of Trump’s presidential campaigns. He also ran a TV ad with footage of Trump praising him by name during a White House event on trade.
Their strongest competition came from state Sen. Amanda Chase, a pro-Trump gadfly who revels in being known as a “firebrand” and “politically incorrect” and has a small, loyal following. She finished third and was knocked out of the race at the end of the fifth round of tabulations.
“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,” Snyder wrote in a tweet as the final votes were tabulated. “Love you all + our big family that is the VA GOP.”
Republicans haven’t won any of the top three statewide positions, including governor, since 2009. Democrats took full control of the legislature in the 2019 elections, giving the party complete control of the commonwealth’s government for the first time in more than two decades.
Virginia Democrats will choose their nominee during the state-run primary on June 8. Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe is the biggest name in the field, which also includes Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, former state Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, state Del. Lee Carter and state Sen. Jennifer McClellan.
“Let me introduce you to Glenn Youngkin: Glenn’s a Ted Cruz and Corey Stewart-endorsed, self-funding, Big Lie believing Trump loyalist who’ll stop at nothing to advance the GOP’s extreme agenda,” McAuliffe tweeted. “What he’s definitely not? The next Governor of Virginia. I’ll make sure of that.”
General Election Day in Virginia is November 2.