Virginia, Red Once More?


Raidon Bingham, Reporter

Sunday, January 15th, 2022, Glenn Youngkin was sworn in as the 74th Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. After almost a decade of Blue governorship, Virginia has returned once more to the Republican seat in its executive office. 

Glenn Youngkin was a divisive figure at the beginning of his campaign. A former co-CEO and President of the global investment firm Carlyle Group, Youngkin has been involved in business for over 25 years, a career which he has touted in his bid for governorship. His various campaign promises ranged from a lifting of the Virginia mask mandate in public school to the elimination of the grocery tax to the hounding of the age-old conservative boogeyman – critical race theory. Building off of growing discontent with the Democrat handling of this wide collage of issues, Governor Youngkin managed to pull ahead of Terry McAuliffe by nearly an entire percent of the vote; the polling ended with McAuliffe winning 47% of the vote while Youngkin gleaned victory with 47.9%.

Quick to the draw and with a hefty agenda waiting, Governor Youngkin issued a whopping eleven executive orders. The major goals of these orders were as follows:

  • To eradicate “political agendas” in the classroom by banning CRT (Critical Race Theory) related curriculums
  • To permit parents the option of sending their children to school without masks
  • To provide Virginia students with five days a week of open, in-person education
  • To investigate the mishandling of a sexual assault case that famously propelled Virginia to national news
  • To reform the Parole Board entirely
  • To initiate an audit of several Virginia departments, including the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
  • To establish an organization to combat anti-semitism
  • To review Virginia’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
  • To establish a new commission to provide for and empower human trafficking victims 
  • To slash workplace regulations, citing a need for unrestricted business growth
  • To end shutdown and training requirements for businesses. 

Many Virginia counties have already voiced their disapproval with the orders, and some, such as Fairfax and Loudoun counties, have refused to abide by the order to end requirements for masks in schools. Some, including Culpeper and Spotsylvania counties, have chosen to side with Governor Youngkin and lift their mask mandates.  The lifting of the mask mandates wasn’t the tip of the spear, however; Governor Youngkin has also instructed the new Attorney General Jason Miyares – a fellow Republican – to launch a state investigation into the bombshell case from last year involving the coverup of two sexual assaults. Previously, the LCPS board hired civil firm Blankingship & Keith, P.C. to investigate its response to the assaults, but summarily withheld the report from the public on a basis of privacy.

With his agenda already up and roaring, it’s clear that Governor Youngkin has only just started his tenure in the spotlight.