Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin said on Monday that he is not launching a 2024 presidential campaign “this year” and is focused solely on governing his state.
Youngkin made the remarks in response to a question from Wall Street Journal Editor-at-Large Gerard Baker at a “Governing America” conversation with the Milken Institute.
Baker asked, “Are you going to be dusting off that fleece jacket and getting out on the presidential campaign trail later this year?”
“No,” Youngkin said. “I’m going to be working in Virginia this year.”
“And so our House and Senate are up for full re-election this year. We have a House that’s controlled by Republicans and a Senate that’s controlled by Democrats,” he continued. “I want to hold our House, and I’d like to flip our Senate. And I think we’re doing a really good job in Virginia, and I think this is a chance to bring that to voters.”
Baker further pressed Youngkin on the matter, asking: “So in the words of LBJ, you will not seek and, if nominated, you will not serve and accept the Republican nomination for president of the United States?”
“We’ll leave that one to LBJ,” he responded. “What I am very excited about is that America seems to be paying attention to what’s going on in Virginia.”
The Richmond Times-Dispatch said that Youngkin could have left himself “wiggle room” if he were to change his mind because he specified that he was focusing on his state “this year.”
However, if Youngkin were to enter the race in 2024, he would be far behind the other Republican candidates in fundraising, would have already missed some GOP primary debates, and would have limited time before the Iowa caucuses, which happen during the first week of February.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan have said in recent weeks that they evaluated the prospects of entering the 2024 presidential race and did not believe it was their time to run.