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Hampton Roads Black organization criticized for endorsing Youngkin for Virginia governor

Glenn Youngkin's campaign said the Hampton Roads Black Caucus endorsed him. Youngkin, a Republican, is running against former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe.

NORFOLK, Va. — Author's note: The video above is on file from Sept. 30, 2021.

A Black organization in Hampton Roads was criticized by other Black groups for endorsing Glenn Youngkin, the Republican nominee in Virginia's governor's race.

In a news release Saturday, Youngkin's campaign said the Hampton Roads Black Caucus (HRBC) endorsed him in the race against Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe, who previously served as governor from 2014 to 2018.

In the announcement, Youngkin's campaign slammed McAuliffe's record on education, crime and the economy, saying he "has been disastrous for the Black community." The campaign also said Youngkin was the first Republican gubernatorial candidate the group has endorsed since forming in 2012.

On its website, the HRBC said it works to increase the representation of elected officials who advocate and support legislation to help the Black community. The group lists four initiatives it supports: Black-owned business growth, educational advancement, economic development and community development.

Despite its name, the group is not to be confused with the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, which consists of African American leaders elected to the Virginia General Assembly, and the Greater Hampton Roads Black Democrats

The HRBC is registered with the Virginia State Corporation Commission as a nonstock corporation, which most nonprofit groups in the state are formed as.

Virginia State Senator and President pro tempore Louise Lucas, who is co-chairing McAuliffe's campaign, told 13News Now those groups endorsed McAuliffe, not Youngkin. As a member of the legislative caucus, she said the HRBC is a Republican organization deliberately calling itself a caucus to cause confusion with the other groups.

In a news release Monday night, the Greater Hampton Roads Black Democrats announced that a group of Black leaders will hold a press conference in support of state Democratic candidates. The group also said they will address the HRBC's endorsement. It will take place at the Virginia Beach Town Center at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

13News Now reached out to the HRBC for more information and for a comment about its endorsement of Youngkin.

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