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Businessman Glenn Youngkin is scheduled to be sworn in because the 74th governor of Virginia on Saturday in Richmond, restoring Republicans to an workplace they have not held in practically a decade.
Two history-making Republicans will even take the oath of workplace. Former state Delegate Jason Miyares will likely be sworn in as lawyer common, the primary Latino elected to statewide workplace. And former state Delegate Winsome Sears will likely be sworn in as lieutenant governor, the primary Black girl to carry that title.
Youngkin’s victory in November shocked Democrats who — after President Biden’s 10-point margin within the state — have been hoping former Gov. Terry McAuliffe would be capable to return to the governor’s mansion and proceed the social gathering’s grip on an workplace at the moment held by outgoing Gov. Ralph Northam. However Youngkin’s marketing campaign turned out many citizens in rural Virginia and made inroads in suburban areas of the state. The previous non-public fairness CEO framed his lack of political expertise as an asset.
Along with seizing management of all three statewide workplaces, Republicans additionally maintain a 52-48 majority within the Home of Delegates after flipping seven seats within the 100-member chamber. Throughout their temporary time within the majority, Democrats raised the minimal wage, abolished the dying penalty, expanded entry to voting and legalized marijuana. Republicans are hoping to work with the brand new governor to roll again a number of the extra progressive components of these new legal guidelines. However they’re going to have to persuade or compromise with Democrats within the state Senate, the place Democrats nonetheless maintain a 21-19 edge, with broader margins on key committees.
On the marketing campaign path, Youngkin usually talked about his “day-one agenda”: including constitution colleges, elevating trainer pay, slashing enterprise rules, eradicating Virginia from local weather change commitments, firing the state’s embattled parole board and passing a number of tax cuts. Most of these insurance policies would require legislative sign-off, however Youngkin has mentioned he plans on addressing some insurance policies associated to COVID-19 in govt orders. That features rescinding an order from Northam requiring masks in public colleges. Youngkin may be confronted with an surprising problem on his first day in workplace as a probably huge snowstorm rolls into Virginia on Sunday.
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Youngkin will even must face a difficulty that he did not speak about on the marketing campaign path. That’s, determining how Virginia’s new marijuana business will work. Democrats legalized marijuana in small quantities, however the system for retail gross sales nonetheless hasn’t been established.
Youngkin’s cupboard contains a mixture of political newcomers in addition to veterans of state and federal authorities, together with staffers who labored underneath former President Donald Trump. That features Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist and administrator of Trump’s Environmental Safety Company who rolled again protections handed by former President Barack Obama.
Wheeler’s nomination sparked rapid outcry amongst Senate Democrats in Virginia, who’re hoping to dam his nomination. The struggle over Wheeler’s nomination could possibly be an early take a look at of Youngkin’s capability to work his method by means of delicate political conditions. Youngkin has to this point ignored these protests, calling Wheeler “extremely certified” in an interview with member station VPM on Tuesday.
Northam, the outgoing Democrat, has mentioned he is unlikely to run for workplace once more. He confronted widespread calls to resign in Feb. 2019 after reporters surfaced a racist photograph on his medical faculty yearbook web page. Northam finally denied he was within the images, stood down these calls and went on to signal sweeping coverage modifications pushed by Democratic majorities. The pediatric neurologist is about to renew seeing sufferers on Monday.
Ben Paviour covers state politics for member station VPM; Michael Pope works as a reporter for Virginia Public Radio.