Republicans Sweep Virginia Elections



Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, seen here at his victory speech

Dan Stark, Student Editor

Republicans in Virginia scored big victories in Tuesday’s elections, winning all three statewide elected offices in the state and winning control of the House of Delegates. 

The elections for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General mark the first statewide victories for Republicans in Virginia since 2009.

In the gubernatorial race, arguably the most closely-watched race in the country, Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe 50.6% to 48.6%, a 2% margin of victory.

Youngkin, the former CEO of The Carlyle Group, ran as a political outsider and made education a centerpiece of his campaign. He attacked McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, for stating “I don’t think that parents should be telling schools what they should teach” in the first debate on September 29.

“We’re going to invest in teachers, new facilities, special education,” Youngkin declared in his victory speech. “We’re going to introduce choice within our public school system. How about that, choice within the public school system.”

In the lieutenant gubernatorial race, former state delegate Winsome Sears defeated state delegate Hala Ayala (D-Lake Ridge) 50.9% to 49.1%. Sears’ victory will make her the first woman and the first African-American woman to serve as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. 

In Ayala’s concession statement, she congratulated Sears for “making history and paving the way for future women leaders who look like us.” Had Ayala been elected, she would have been the first Afro-Latina woman to serve the office.

Incumbent Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring was defeated in his bid for a third term by State Delegate Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach) 50.6% to 49.4%. With a 1.2% margin, this was the closest race in Virginia this cycle.

Like Sears, Miyares also made history with his victory, as he will be the first Latino Attorney General of Virginia.

In the House of Delegates, Republicans have been projected to win 50 seats, enough to give them a majority. Democrats, who currently control the chamber 55-45 seats, have been projected to win 47 seats. Three seats remain uncalled.

House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) conceded that “the results of the election were not in our favor” in a statement issued on Friday. She welcomed the new majority, but vowed to “hold them [Republicans] accountable if and when they attempt to reverse the progress we have made.”

Youngkin, Sears, and Miyares will be sworn into their offices on January 15, 2022.