The Pledge of Allegiance, a prayer, and the “Star-Spangled Banner” kicked off a rally for Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin on Saturday. In front of Tom Leonard’s Farmer’s Market in Henrico County, surrounded by red signs, American flags, and over a thousand supporters, Youngkin took the stage.
Following former Republican governor Jim Gilmore and current Attorney General candidate Jason Miyares, the first-time gubernatorial candidate excitedly addressed the crowd. Youngkin, who has never held public office, appeared confident in front of so many faces, declaring that, “This is no longer a campaign. It’s a movement.”
Youngkin, a republican, spent a portion of the night attacking the number of pages of policy on his opponent democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe’s website, claiming that the cost of these policies to Virginians would be exorbitant. “Terry McAuliffe thinks it’s his money, I know it’s your money,” he said before segueing into his own policy — “The Day One Game Plan.”
“On day one” became the refrain he used when talking about his goals of a one time tax rebate, elimination of Virginia’s grocery tax, and the suspension of a recent gas tax increase. Youngkin also wants to reduce state regulations on business by 25%. Defending instead of defunding the police is another key factor of his plan.
On the little stage in the heart of the crowd, the 6’7” candidate brought up a major concern circulating in republican voter bases. “What we won’t do is teach our children to view everything through race,” Younkgin said. He followed that by saying, “I will ban Critical Race Theory in our schools,” which led to one of the largest cheers of the night.
After asking those gathered to keep him and the other republican candidates on their prayer lists, Youngkin’s rally came to a close with a similar call to action to that of a McAuliffe event earlier that day — vote.