By Shawn Nowlin firstname.lastname@example.org
When Glenn Youngkin is inaugurated as the 74th governor of Virginia on January 15, 2022, it will be the first time in over a decade that a Republican will serve as the Chief Executive of the Commonwealth.
To thank his supporters, the Governor-elect traveled across the Roanoke Valley last week, including a visit to CommUNITY Church in Salem. Delegates Joe McNamara and David Suetterlein as well as Sheriff Eric Orange, provided remarks throughout the event. It was Orange who led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
“Not only throughout the Roanoke Valley, but Glenn Youngkin is setting a model for the United States of America. I am the only thing between you and the Governor-elect so please help me welcome him to the stage,” McNamara jokingly said while introducing the man that everybody came to see.
Addressing a crowd of packed supporters, Youngkin said, “I want to start this morning with one basic comment, thank-you. I must tell you that when I first started campaigning, and I came to Salem, everybody was so welcoming and embracing. My wife has decided that this is a good place to live once our career in politics is over. She passes on her thanks. Every time that we have set foot anywhere near this church, we have felt like family.”
Elaborating on the magnitude of the statement made on Election Day 2021, Sutterlein said, “We had a great victory across the Commonwealth. Governor-elect Youngkin, which I just love to say by the way, was able to win across the state because so many people responded to his message. Even in some places that aren’t always hospitable to Republicans such as the City of Roanoke.”
Like the overwhelming percentage of Salem residents and natives, Jim Reynolds voted for Youngkin. “To me it wasn’t a hard choice. I saw what McAuliffe was offering and felt that our state would be much better under Youngkin’s leadership. I can’t wait to see what he does when he is in office.”
On two other occasions this year, in May and August, respectively, Youngkin visited Salem to discuss his platform and vision for the future. Each instance drew enthusiastic supporters from all over the Roanoke Valley and beyond.
When asked why he thinks Youngkin defeated McAuliffe, Richard Stuckey responded, “He clearly was the more energized candidate. He made his campaign about the future, while his opponent spent too much time talking about Critical Race Theory and Donald Trump.”
Youngkin’s term will run through January 2026.