CHESTER, Virginia – The GOP candidates for governor, attorney general, and lieutenant governor stopped in Chester on Saturday afternoon for a rally with about 350 attendees. In 90-degree heat Glenn Youngkin, Delegate Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach), and Winsome Sears spoke, mentioning Juneteenth, opposed Critical Race Theory in schools, and called for tough-on-crime policies.
“Virginians for the last eight years have been crushed. And I’ll say right here, right now, eight is enough,” Youngkin said. “Glenn Youngkin and Terry McAuliffe have a very different vision for the future of Virginia. Terry’s still peddling tired old policies of the past he’s been carrying around in his briefcase for the last four years looking for a job.”
Youngkin called for reforming Virginia’s election law. “Rest assured, when you elect us and we go work for you, we’re going to press forward with elections reforms including requiring every Virginian to show up with a photo I.D.”
“Right now our murder rate in Virginia is the highest it’s been since the turn of the century,” Miyares said. “I don’t like this criminal-first, victim-last mindset.”
Miyares criticized McAuliffe, Governor Ralph Northam, and Attorney Mark Herring for their oversight of the Virginia Parole Board.
He said, “If you’re tired of these stories of this catch-and-release program, of this far left-wing monopoly in Richmond, if you’re tired of seeing the fact that our crime rates are the highest since the turn of the millennium, we need new leadership in Richmond.”
Sears said, “If your kids are failing schools, they weren’t in schools, the way to light the candle is to vote for this ticket. If your businesses failed or are on the brink of failing or your lost money like my business did during COVID because of this liberal establishment, then the way to light the candle is to vote for this ticket.”
The candidates were joined by local legislators including Delegate Carrie Coyner (R-Chesterfield) and Delegate John McGuire (R-Henrico). Two of Youngkin’s former opponents, also from the area, were also present: Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) and Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights.) Chase led the crowd in a prayer, as part of the rally’s emphasis on faith, family, and freedom.
“Always interesting to have the guy that ran against them introduce them,” Cox said in his speech. “[Youngkin] deserved to win because he’s got the energy, the passion to take back the state.”
Cox emphasized Youngkin’s faith and servant heart, in contrast to Terry McAuliffe. Cox said, “[McAuliffe] has one goal, and that’s ambition.”
Retired Army Chaplain Alan Pomaville attended the rally. He mentioned the candidates’ messages about freedom of speech and school choice, and explained what stood out to him about Youngkin: “What a lot of patriotic Americans is just wholesome conservative values.”
Pomaville told The Virginia Star, “Faith, family, and freedom were the big three that they said. I think the average American is looking for faith, family, and freedom.”
“I heard Winsome Sears a while back and truly fell in love with her,” Vought told The Star.
He explained what he liked about Sears: “Her realism, the fact that she is as real as it gets. In fact, I could say the same thing about Glenn, and I could say the same thing about Jason.”
“All three of them are as real as it gets and that’s what I am. I don’t have an agenda. I don’t have anything that I’m trying to pretend to be. I am me,” Vought said.
Former Trump administration official and activist Christine Bauserman told The Star, “I had met [Youngkin] originally in a primary debate and what struck me about him was he’s authentic.”
She said Youngkin showed good organization during the Republican nomination cycle, a good sign for his campaign in the general election.
Bauserman said she thinks Youngkin can win.
She said, “I believe, because of his organization, if he does a ground game, if everybody shows up and they act like sergeants and get them to show up, and watch those polls. And if he sticks to his guns on core issues like [CRT] he has that confidence that the people will come out and stand right for him no matter what their party is.”
She said, “He’s not playing politics.”
– – –