CHANTILLY, Va. — Voters in Virginia made their choice, and that choice was Glenn Youngkin. The Republican political newcomer will be the next governor after a tight race with Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
During his campaign, Youngkin had a list of things he planned to tackle his first day on the job if he won. As the first Republican in the office in more than a decade, a lot of people will be watching to see if he makes good on his promises.
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Education became a major talking point in Youngkin's campaign for governor.
“On Day One, we’re going to work," Youngkin said. "We’re going to restore excellence in our schools."
That includes rolling out the largest education budget in the commonwealth’s history that will be an investment in teachers, schools, and special education.
“We’re going to press forward with a curriculum that includes listening to parents' input, a curriculum that allows our children to run as fast as they can, teaching them how to think, enabling their dreams to soar," Youngkin said.
In the lead-up to the election, a lot of controversy and confusion centered around Critical Race Theory (CRT). At its core, CRT looks at systems of racism, how they’ve evolved, and how they’ve kept going.
Youngkin said he plans to ban it but currently, CRT is not even on the curriculum for K-12 schools.
Another campaign promise was to push for more school choice and open more charter schools.
“There is no time to waste," Youngkin said. "Our kids can’t wait. We work in real people time, not government time.”
His campaign also touched on money issues that resonated with voters.
“We will reduce our cost of living. On Day One, we will declare the largest tax refund in the history of Virginia," Youngkin said.
The plan that he promised to make a reality touches on much of the day-to-day economics that affect people.
“We’re going to eliminate the grocery tax, suspend the most recent hike in the gas tax, double everybody’s standard deduction, and we are going to cut taxes on the retirement income of our veterans," he said.
Youngkin looks at the cut to the grocery tax as a way to give money back to people who are over-taxed. He also wants to reduce income taxes and said voters will have to approve any property tax hikes.
“All in we are going to save Virginia families $1,500, year one," Youngkin said.
The governor-elect also promised job creation. On the campaign trail, he said he wanted to create employment opportunities by cutting regulations.
“On day one, we’re going to jumpstart our jobs and reinvigorate the economy so it lifts up all Virginians," Youngkin said. “Growing 400,000 new jobs, fostering 10,000 start-up businesses. Friends, Virginia will be open for business.”
Youngkin is a businessman. He became a millionaire as chief executive of the world’s largest private equity group before entering politics.
Across the state, small businesses still are working to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Youngkin pointed to a possible year-long tax holiday for small businesses that have "less than $250,000 in net income."
Youngkin said Virginia should be the easiest state in which to start a business.