VA GOP governor race shaken by fraud allegations

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Image via Financial Times

Helen Ehrlich, Editor-In-Chief

Glenn Youngkin is being investigated by the Virginia GOP over potentially frauding constituents in order to register them for the GOP convention.

 

Virginia’s governor race is heating up, stealing national attention as a signal of the South’s future and the political direction of the commonwealth. Virginia’s Republicans know this election is important for them, after they lost the majority of the House, Senate, Governor’s office and the presidential election. This election is a chance to reinstate the image of the GOP in Virginia, which has slipped out of favor in recent years. 

 

In order to maintain party coordination, the Virginia GOP opted to skip the primary. Much of this was inspired by state Senator Amanda Chase, who was embroiled in the Capitol insurrection attempt, leading to a censuring by the legislature and a legal battle (read more here). The Party chose to use a convention style of voting, which had candidates kicking into action (and Chase no longer registering as an Independent, instead seeking nomination through the more difficult convention nomination process). Voters will be able to voice their opinion within the party at 37 locations across the commonwealth.

 

Virginia State Central Committee head Stephen Kurtz  wrote to Chairperson Rich Anderson demanding an investigation into Youngkin’s attempts to deceive Virginians in order to register them as voters for the Convention. Youngkin’s staffers reportedly told people they were representing the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) as a whole, not a specific campaign that wanted their vote.

 

A Ring security video was released, showing a woman going up to a door and saying to the homeowner, “I’m working with the Republican Party in Virginia, do you plan on voting in the governor elections in June?” The woman being registered continued to ask the canvasser questions, and eventually she says she is working for Vanguard Field Strategies, which is a large contributor and coordinator with Youngkin’s campaign.

Republican candidate for Virginia governor makes stop in Lynchburg | WSET
Image via WSET

Vanguard historically works with individual campaigns in tight races, not with parties. The RPV stated that they have not begun to take such canvassing measures, and that they have not contracted with Vanguard. 

 

Youngkin has worked in the business and is a member of numerous corporate boards. He was formerly employed by The Carlyle Group (which you may remember from the 2008 Pay to Play scandal), but has not previously held public office.

 

Youngkin had launched an “election integrity task force” in February of 2021, prior to this scandal. Youngkin claimed that it was an important issue for the commonwealth, as the topic of voter fraud has become a hot-button but largely unfounded issue for Republicans. Youngkin’s task force has not taken any steps to investigate or condemn him at this time.