In response to the Dominion’s question, Mr. Youngkin said, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is the most important issue we are going to talk about now. He presented “five steps to restore our confidence” in the elections.
Former co-managing director of the Carlyle Group, Mr. Youngkin spent at least $ 5.5 million of his own money on the race. Part of his appeal to Republicans is that in the general election he could theoretically match the spending of the main Democrat, former Governor Terry McAuliffe.
Polls show Mr McAuliffe, with the benefit of his name recognition from a previous term, has a significant lead over three Democratic rivals entering their party primary on June 8.
For many observers, it was the 2013 race won by Mr. McAuliffe that started the rout of the Republicans in Virginia. Ahead of this election, social conservatives took control of the GOP central committee, called off a primary, and picked one of their own, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, at a scented convention at the Tea Party.
Mr Cuccinelli lost to Mr McAuliffe, a Democratic fundraiser and friend of Hillary and Bill Clinton – thus starting the Republicans years in the wild.
“It’s a direct result of the Cuccinelli heist, if you will,” said Chris Peace, a former Republican state lawmaker. “Much of the old guard, the center-right of the party, has been expelled.
Four years later, the party’s 2017 gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie lost decisively after making a Trumpian effort to stoke fear of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. The following year, the party’s Senate candidate Corey Stewart raced to preserve Confederate statues – and lost in a landslide.