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Enthusiasm inside Virginia GOP high as convention to pick gubernatorial nominee nears

With an enormous number of delegates attending the GOP convention in Virginia on Saturday, candidate Glenn Youngkin said there's "huge enthusiasm" for this election.

Updated: May 7, 2021 - 1:34am

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An enormous turnout is expected at the Virginia Republican Party convention on Saturday to choose the party's nominee for governor.

There will be 53,000 delegates to nominate the GOP's Virginia gubernatorial candidate, according to The Hill.

Glenn Youngkin, former co-CEO of the Carlyle Group and one of the frontrunners in the Republican race, told the "John Solomon Reports" podcast on Thursday that the number of delegates attending the convention "is three to four times what people would expect in a convention. And this just reflects the real motivation for Republicans to take back our Commonwealth."

Youngkin elaborated on the turnout he has experienced while campaigning.

"We've been running a completely differentiated kind of campaign to pull people into this process," he said. "People who are really, really stalwart Republicans, but have just not participated in these kinds of processes. And guess what? They have come in busloads. And so that's been hugely encouraging.

"We've had giant crowds, such huge enthusiasm. And it's been just a super shot in the arm. But it also helps Virginians to recognize that this is a national spotlight on what's happening this year. The country is absolutely paying attention."

Youngkin has received an endorsement from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has campaigned with him the past couple of days.

Youngkin discussed how Republicans can take back the governorship and the House of Delegates. "I've just felt this amazing surge of support and enthusiasm across Virginia over the course of the last three or four weeks," Youngkin said. "And having Senator Cruz on the road with me has been spectacular. So meaningful, the crowds are big, people actually see that this can happen."

After listing Democratic policies of Critical Race Theory in public schools, locked down businesses and schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, high living costs and overregulation, Youngkin said there is enthusiasm from Virginians to see the opposite policies enacted.

"What I've heard from Virginians, whether I'm at a libertarian breakfast, or a Tea Party lunch or with a group of forever-Trumpers, or a group of never-Trumpers, or group of single-issue voters, or even a group of independents and Democrats. What I've heard over and over again is that, 'Glenn, we cannot afford another term of the McAuliffe-Northam administration, but even more so, we want something different. We want something new, Glenn, we are for you.' And that is amazingly humbling.

"And I do believe that Virginians just want a new day," he added. "We want to actually get back to where we know Virginia should be, which is just the best state in America. It was like that when I was growing up, it was like that when my kids were small. And what Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam has done to Virginia is just so unacceptable and wrong. And Virginians are ready to lock arms and march into a new day."

Former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe is the Democratic frontrunner in the gubernatorial race, as the state constitution prevents current Gov. Ralph Northam from serving consecutive terms.

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