‘We’re Focused on 2023:’ Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin Doesn’t Rule Out 2024 Presidential Run

GOP Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin dodged questions about if he would rule out running for president in 2024 amid rumors the governor is being encouraged to enter the race for the nomination. 

While campaigning for Republicans in elections across the state this November, Youngkin said during an event in Virginia that he and his team were “focused on 2023,” and there had been “no confusion” about the most critical election in 2023. 

“The most important election in the nation, I believe, is Virginia this year. We are laser-focused on holding our House, winning our Senate, and getting [state Senate candidate] Bill Woolf and the other great Republican candidates elected,” said Youngkin. 

“We have demonstrated that you can take a state that was really so much headed in the wrong direction and redirect with commonsense, conservative principles and leadership and policies,” continued Youngkin. “We can take a state that was near the bottom and put it near the top. Folks, this is so important for us to do, and that is why I have nothing else in my mind other than 2023.”

When asked about those encouraging him to enter the crowded 2024 presidential primary field, Gov. Youngkin said he appreciated the recognition of his conservative accomplishments. But he didn’t answer follow-up questions about whether he would rule out late entry into the race in 2024. 

“I meet lots of people, and I’m always so humbled by the fact that people are encouraging us to do what we’re doing in Virginia outside Virginia,” said Youngkin. “But we’re focusing on Virginia, and what is so nice is that people appreciate what’s happening here. And what we are doing is exactly what we said we’re going to do. We have lowered the cost of living; we have backed the blue, we have re-established excellence in education. It works, it works,” he said. 

Speculation about Youngkin entering the presidential race has swirled for months

For months, speculation about whether Gov. Youngkin would enter the race for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidency has swirled. However, the popular conservative governor has downplayed and dismissed his possible consideration for higher office. 

When asked in May whether he would enter the presidential race “this year,” said Youngkin said “no” during an event for the Wall Street Journal. 

“I’m going to be working in Virginia this year,” said Youngkin to the Journal’s editor-at-large Gerard Baker at a Milken Institute “Governing America” forum. 

Before his comments in May, a signal the governor might not be launching a presidential campaign came when two of his top outside political consultants joined the super PAC recently supporting GOP Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. 

Youngkin energized Republicans across the nation in his 2021 election victory. That is when he edged past former Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe to become the first Republican nominee in a dozen years to win a Virginia gubernatorial election. Virginia is a one-time swing state that had trended toward Democrats over the past decade. 

Last year, Youngkin was a politician in demand on the 2022 campaign trail, traveling across the country on behalf of fellow Republicans. 

“[O]n November 2, Virginians made a different choice,” said Youngkin in May while speaking during an event at the Reagan Library in California. “It was a choice to restore parents’ rights because parents matter. It was a choice to lift the burdens on small businesses and bring back more jobs. It was a choice for common sense.”

“It was a choice for common sense. It was an election, yes, a choice to reject the notion that we are a generation that loses freedom. And instead, Virginians turned on that bright light. Conservative policies win because they are grounded in timeless truths and common sense.”