April 14, 2024

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has reportedly shelved plans to run for president in 2024. 

The GOP lawman is seen as a rising star in the Republican party following his surprising gubernatorial win in the formerly blue state in 2021. 

Amid Donald Trump‘s surge in the polls following his bombshell indictment in New York, and an expected 2024 announcement from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Youngkin has decided against throwing his hat in the ring. 

According to The New York Times, the 56-year-old has told advisors and fundraisers that he is tapping the breaks on a run for the White House, and is instead focusing on flipping Virginia’s legislature red in the upcoming state elections in the fall. 

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has reportedly shelved plans to run for president in 2024

Youngkin’s expected decision to halt his presidential plans comes after another potential candidate, Donald Trump’s former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, also announced he would not enter the race. 

Youngkin stormed to a surprise victory over Terry McAuliffe two years ago off the back of a fierce campaign focusing on many of the ‘culture war’ issues that are expected to dominate the impending presidential race. 

But his championing of parents’ rights and education have since been co-opted by DeSantis, who boasts a more impressive legislative record in Florida than Youngkin has in Virginia. 

And in a heated race where DeSantis is anticipated to take center stage in a political slugfest with Donald Trump, it appears that several would-be candidates have decided to forgo their own runs. 

Announcing his decision not to run, former Trump cabinet member-turned critic Pompeo admitted to Fox News: ‘This isn’t our moment’.  

According to the Times, two of Youngkin’s top advisors, who orchestrated his shock victory in 2021 and were set to guide his 2024 presidential run, recently jumped ship and joined a super PAC supporting DeSantis’ unannounced candidacy. 

Donald Trump has enjoyed a huge polls bump in the wake of his indictment over hush money charges, and subsequent arraignment

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, pictured at an April 14, 2022, rally, is widely expected to announce his own 2024 presidential run 

Former President Donald Trump has seen a surge in the polls following his bombshell indictment in New York

When asked about whether he was mulling his own run for the White House in the coming months, Youngkin said this week: ‘Listen, I didn’t write a book, and I’m not in Iowa or New Hampshire or South Carolina.’ 

His remarks were seemingly pointing to DeSantis’ recent book tour, seen by many as a soft-launch of his presidential campaign, providing an opportunity to visit early voting states before an official announcement. 

Instead of laying the groundwork for a 2024 campaign, Youngkin said he is focusing upon November’s elections in Virginia, where all 140 seats in the legislature are up for grabs. 

He added that taking control of Virginia’s state congress ‘is what this year is all about’.  

Fully controlling the legislature, which is currently under Democrat control in the Senate while the Republicans have a small four seat majority in the House, would provide Youngkin more opportunity to push through conservative policies and build a national profile as DeSantis has done in Florida. 

However, he has previously signaled his intention to capitalize on issues underpinning DeSantis’ potential campaign, including signing a bill giving parents a veto over any books being included in school classrooms. 

Youngkin, pictured April 6, 2023, has said he is fully focused on Virginia’s upcoming legislative elections instead of a presidential run 

President Joe Biden, who has not yet announced a re-election campaign, has repeatedly insisted it is his intention to run again in 2024

Youngkin’s apparent decision to halt his presidential aspirations comes as the 2024 Republican nomination race is seemingly set to revolve around a Trump and DeSantis matchup. 

Following Donald Trump’s recent indictment on charges related to a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, he has seen a tangible surge in support for his comeback White House bid. 

According to Politico, Trump’s campaign and fundraising committees have raked in over $15 million in the wake of the indictment. 

And in a shocking new poll from Victory Insights, his post-arrest bounce has seen him take a considerable lead in early election polls. In Florida, DeSantis’ home state, Trump won support from 46.6 percent of likely voters, compared to just 31.8 percent from his likely 2024 rival. 

In another Victory Insight poll from November, when Trump announced his comeback campaign, DeSantis was beating the former president by 10.9 percent. 

The potential for a two-horse race in the nomination battle has not South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, however, who announced Wednesday that he is launching a presidential exploratory committee – the first step in committing to a run for the White House.