Virginia’s Republican Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears reacted Wednesday to rumors that GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin might still run for president in 2024 following the state’s legislative elections in November.
Though Youngkin has previously said he wouldn’t run for president “this year” and maintains he’s solely focused on Virginia right now, GOP megadonors are reportedly privately courting him to challenge former President Donald Trump in the Republican primary.
Sears was asked by Fox News’ Steve Doocy whether she thinks a White House bid is a possibility, to which she said “it wouldn’t surprise me.”
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“I don’t know that it would surprise me,” Sears said. “I know that he is a humble man and, by the way that’s the other thing we are looking for in the character of the leader. We want somebody who is humble, and by the way humble doesn’t mean weak, it means being meek, strength, of course, but it’s character. You know, it wouldn’t surprise me, and it would be a wonderful thing, I think. But we are focused on 2023.”
Youngkin and his state super PAC, Spirit of Virginia PAC, are vying to hold the state House of Delegates and flip the state Senate red in November.
“Virginia’s getting attention because Governor Youngkin’s common-sense conservative leadership is working. There’s more to do, so the governor’s not taking his eye off Virginia; these (legislative) races are too important,” Spirit of Virginia PAC Chairman Dave Rexrode previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement regarding Youngkin’s potential 2024 aspirations.
The governor gained national attention in 2021 when he narrowly beat former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe, and succeeded Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, according to Ballotpedia. Youngkin had no prior political experience before his gubernatorial run in the purple state, and spent his life working in the private sector.
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Some GOP donors who aren’t confident in the current Republican primary field’s potential for taking on the former president are hoping Youngkin jumps in. Republican billionaires like Ronald Lauder and Thomas Peterffy, as well as Fox News executive Rupert Murdoch, are among the bunch.
The RealClearPolitics (RCP) average for a 2024 national Republican primary, based on polls conducted between Aug. 10 to Aug. 21, indicates Trump is leading the crowded field by over 40 points, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lagging behind at 14.3%, followed by conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy at 7.2% and former Vice President Mike Pence at 4%. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie garnered 3.2%, 3.1% and 3% support, respectively, and all other GOP hopefuls polled at less than 1%.
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