Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has reportedly shelved plans to run for president in 2024.
The GOP lawmaker is seen as a rising star in the GOP after his surprise gubernatorial win in the previously blue state in 2021.
Amid Donald Trump surging in the polls after his surprise indictment in New York, and the expected 2024 announcement from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Youngkin decided not to throw his hat in the ring.
according to New York timesThe 56-year-old told advisers and fundraisers that he is taking breaks in his run for the White House, focusing instead on turning Virginia’s legislature red in the next state election in the fall.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has reportedly shelved plans to run for president in 2024
Youngkin’s expected decision to halt his presidential plans comes after another potential candidate, Donald Trump’s former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, announced he would not run.
Youngkin stormed to an upset victory over Terry McAuliffe two years ago on the back of an aggressive campaign focused on the many “culture war” issues that are expected to dominate the impending presidential race.
But since then, his champion of parental rights and education has been picked up by DeSantis, who boasts a more impressive legislative record in Florida than Youngkin had in Virginia.
And in a heated race in which DeSantis is expected to take center stage in a political battle with Donald Trump, several potential candidates appear to have decided to forego their own runs.
In announcing his decision not to run, Pompeo, a former Trump cabinet member turned critic, admitted to Fox News: “This is not our moment.”
According to The Times, two of Youngkin’s top advisers, who orchestrated his surprise victory in 2021 and are poised to guide his 2024 presidential run, recently jumped ship and joined the PAC supergroup to support DeSantis’ surprise candidacy.
Donald Trump has enjoyed a massive rebound in the polls in the wake of his indictment on hush money charges, and his subsequent impeachment.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, pictured at a rally April 14, 2022, is widely expected to announce his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election
Former President Donald Trump has seen his polls rise after his impeachment trial in New York
When asked if he was considering a run for the White House in the coming months, Youngkin said this week: “Listen, I haven’t written a book, and I’m not in Iowa or New Hampshire or South Carolina.”
His remarks were apparently referring to DeSantis’ recent book tour, which many saw as a soft launch for his presidential campaign, providing an opportunity to visit early-voting states before the official announcement.
Rather than laying the groundwork for a 2024 campaign, Youngkin said he’s focused on the November election in Virginia, where 140 seats in the legislature will be contested.
Dominating the Virginia state conference, he added, “is what this year is all about.”
Full control of the legislature, which is currently controlled by Democrats in the Senate while Republicans hold a small four-seat majority in the House, would provide more opportunity for Youngkin to push through conservative policies and build a national image as DeSantis did in Florida.
However, he has previously indicated his intent to capitalize on causes that support DeSantis’ potential campaign, including signing a bill that would give parents veto power over any books that are included in school classrooms.
Yongkin, pictured April 6, 2023, said he is fully focused on the upcoming Virginia legislative election rather than running for president.
President Joe Biden, who has not yet announced his re-election campaign, has repeatedly insisted that he intends to run again in 2024.
Youngkin’s apparent decision to put a halt to his presidential aspirations comes as the 2024 Republican nomination race looks set to revolve around the Trump-DeSantis bout.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s recent indictment on charges related to the payment of hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, he has seen a meaningful uptick in support for his bid for the White House.
According to Politico, the Trump campaign and fundraising committees have raised more than $15 million in the wake of the indictment.
And in a shocking new poll by Victory Insights, his bounce back after his arrest has led him significantly in early election polls. In DeSantis’ home Florida, Trump has the support of 46.6% of likely voters, compared to just 31.8% for his likely challenger in 2024.
In another Victory Insight poll in November, when Trump announced his campaign, DeSantis had a lead over the former president by 10.9%.
The prospect of a two-horse race in the nomination battle, however, was not South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who announced Wednesday that he would launch a presidential exploratory committee — the first step in committing to running for the White House.