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Youngkin campaign stop in Maine draws criticism

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin continues his summer campaign to support GOP candidates in several states.

FAIRFAX, Va. — Plans to make a campaign stop in Maine by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is garnering criticism.

The Republican governor will join a campaign fundraiser to show support for former Gov. Paul LePage in Lewiston, Maine next Wednesday. LePage is seeking a third non-consecutive term.

Democrats in Virginia questioned why Youngkin would support LePage accused of making homophobic and racist comments over the years. LePage, who has described himself as "Trump before there was Trump" also criticized the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago and believed the 2020 election was stolen. 

Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Steve Descano, who has publicly criticized Youngkin since he took office, said the support from Youngkin is "sickening."

"A lot of people voted for Gov. Youngkin with the idea that he was some sort of moderate in a fleece vest and when you take a look at the people he's going around and campaigning for, they're anything but moderates," Descano said. 

The latest stop is part of an ongoing campaign blitz to help amplify GOP gubernatorial candidates within the next few months in more than a half-dozen states seeking to turn blue seats. Candidates Youngkin supports include Trump-backed candidates Yesli Vega of Virginia and Tudor Dixon of Michigan. 

In a Twitter post, Maine House Speaker Ryan Fecteau said "for a guy who avoided Trump during his gubernatorial campaign in Virginia, it is interesting to see him with Trump in Maine."

"Criticism falls a little flat from liberals who have worked hard to make Virginia more like California and who have refused to make life easier for Virginians on issues like the gas tax suspension," Kristin Davison, Youngkin's political advisor, said. 

The summer campaign questions if Youngkin plans to run as president. While there has not been a direct from his camp, Democrats viewed it as a strategic approach for a higher political power.

"Virginians, we didn't ask for a half-time governor," Democratic Party of Virginia Spokesperson Gianni Snidle said. "He'd rather spend time in Arlington, Texas than Arlington, Virginia. He's our governor and he doesn't have to run for reelection. He's showing his true colors and he's campaigning with these people who are very align with Trump values."

Youngkin's political advisor fired back by saying he is fulfilling his mission to help candidates flip blue seats.

"In addition, there are a number of Republican gubernatorial candidates running in states that are similar to where Virginia was last year that the governor will be able to help," Davison said. "The unifying movement around kitchen table issues started in Virginia, but has spread across the nation. The governor is looking forward to bringing the Virginia spirit to these states and helping get Republicans elected."

RELATED: Youngkin’s office denies claims he’s trying to push ‘Don’t Say Gay’ in Virginia

RELATED: Youngkin proposes nearly $400M in tax relief in upcoming budget

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