Glenn YoungkinGlenn Youngkin150 ex-EPA staffers ask Virginia lawmakers to oppose Wheeler nomination Republicans: Be optimistic, but not complacent Biden seeks to avoid referendum with sharp attacks on GOP MORE (R) was sworn in as Virginia’s governor on Saturday, marking the first time a Republican was inaugurated to the office in over a decade.
“In this last election, we heard from more voters than ever before. Twenty-five percent more, nearly 3.3 million Virginians. 3.3 million Virginians who sent us here on a mission to restore trust in government and to restore power to the people,” Youngkin said on a sunny day in the commonwealth. “We stand here today as the messengers of that movement and trusted to protect liberty, create opportunity, and build unity for the hard work ahead. This celebration is about that movement.”
Youngkin said that he would support teachers and in-person learning amid COVID-19, “return respect” for law enforcement members, heal divisions and stress individual freedoms, including among parents.
The Republican governor said during his speech that Virginia would “remove politics from the classroom and refocus on essential,” adding that “we will teach all of our history, the good and the bad.”
He said that parents should “have a say” in what their children learn inside the classroom.
“To parents, I say we respect you and we will empower you in the education of your children,” Youngkin declared.
Youngkin’s win in November was a major upset for Democrat and former Gov. Terry McAuliffeTerry McAuliffeCentrist Democrats urge progressives to tamp down rhetoric Pandemic pushes teachers unions to center stage ahead of midterms Overnight Energy & Environment — Virginia gears up for fight on Trump-era official MORE who has long been a fixture of Democratic Party establishment politics.
Like in his inauguration speech, Youngkin hit on the issue of parents’ rights in their child’s education, and their influence over school boards. The now-governor’s team jumped into the national debate over critical race theory and transgender students’ rights in schools.
McAuliffe, on the other hand, stated during the campaign that he did not believe parents should not have a say in what schools teach children. The comment appeared to lose McAuliffe political capital as the race drew to a close.
Youngkin also acknowledged the toxic political atmosphere in his speech, saying that he understood the state needed to “bind the wounds of division” and restore trust among Virginians.
The Republican also remained cordial to his predecessor, former Gov. Ralph Northam (D), during the remarks, thanking him for his service and “for being so gracious and supportive during this transition.”
“Their love for Virginia shines through and their many, many years of dedication simply suggest basic words: ‘We love, Virginia,’” Youngkin said.
Winsome Sears (R) also made history on Saturday, becoming the state’s first woman and first Black woman to be inaugurated as Virginia lieutenant governor.
The former state House delegate has been vocal about school choice and parents rights, telling The Hill in an interview in late November that, “The system is we need to stop worshipping the brick building and give the child a chance, and the chance is the parents want to be able to decide where their children should go to school.”
Jason Miyares (R) was also inaugurated on Saturday as state Attorney General.