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Will Gov. Youngkin submit a late bid for the 2024 presidential race? Political analyst weighs in

Gov. Glenn Youngkin told a group of journalists he is not launching a presidential campaign this year, but would not comment about a 2024 bid.

NORFOLK, Va. — A presidential campaign launch may not be on Gov. Glenn Youngkin's calendar for 2023, but the Republican state leader has remained vague about any future intentions to throw his hat in the ring for the presidential race in 2024.

In an interview with journalists following his first trade mission trip, Youngkin told reporters he is not entering his bid for the presidential race this year. 

"No, I'm going to be working in Virginia this year…I have my midterms this year, and we're off-cycle. And so our House and Senate are up for full reelection this year," said Youngkin, according to his administration's spokeswoman. 

He went on to say, "I have a House that's controlled by Republicans and a Senate that's controlled by Democrats. I want to hold our House and I'd like to flip our Senate. And I think we're doing a really good job in Virginia. And I think this is a chance to bring that to voters. And so, I haven't written a book. And I'm not in Iowa, I am spending time representing Virginians this year."

When asked again by reporters if the governor would enter a late bid in 2024, he referred to his original statement, saying he is not announcing any candidacy this year. 

Right now, President Joe Biden is in the running with Marianne Williamson and a nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., for the Democratic Party.

Former President Donald Trump threw his hat in the ring for the Republican Primary against Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, Asa Hutchinson, Corey Stapleton, and Larry Elder

There have been implications that Florida's governor, Ron Desantis, will also announce his candidacy for the 2024 race. Political observers expect him to make an announcement in the middle of this month.

Gov. Youngkin has also been rumored as a potential presidential candidate. 

Miles Coleman with the University of Virginia's Center for Politics said it all comes down to what happens with the other candidates and if Youngkin plans to jump in at any point.

"You know, if it ends up being messy primary between Trump and Desantis, could Youngkin emerge as a compromised candidate at the convention?" Coleman speculated. "The timing of Virginia governors being elected the year after the presidential race, it doesn't lend itself too well for running."

However, Coleman said if Youngkin said he's not announcing a bid in 2023, it would be really late to announce one in 2024 in a typical campaign. 

"If he tries to go for 2024, and he's ruling out 2023, he's effectively saying he's not going to have enough time," Coleman explained. "It's almost like he's effectively not running, but this gives him some way not to entirely close that door."

He said with a couple of years left on Youngkin's term and his polling approval rate in the state of Virginia, the governor may choose to wait it out. 

"Youngkin is going to have his legislative elections this year that I'm sure he's going to want to campaign for Republican candidates," said Coleman.

In Virginia, governors cannot serve two terms consecutively. Coleman added it's also unlikely Gov. Youngkin will try to challenge Sens. Tim Kaine or Mark Warner after his term as governor. 

He said another avenue for Youngkin following his term would be joining the next president's administration if a Republican were to take the seat.

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