Virginia Gubernatorial Race Update

May 14, 2021

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The Virginia gubernatorial election will be held on November 2, 2021. The Virginia Constitution does not allow an incumbent governor to serve consecutive terms, so a new governor is elected every four years.

On May 8, 2021, Virginia Republicans nominated their candidates for statewide office via a novel “Unassembled Convention” in which nearly 30,000 delegates voted at one of 39 sites across Virginia.

Glenn Youngkin emerged from a field of seven candidates to win the nomination for governor with 55 percent of the vote. Youngkin retired last year as the CEO of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s leading investment firms, after 25 years with the company. A newcomer to running for public office, Youngkin has centered his campaign thus far on bolstering workforce education, job creation and public safety.

In winning the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor, Winsome Sears, a former Virginia Delegate, became the first Black woman nominated for statewide office in Virginia. Known as an engaging and passionate public speaker, Sears has a diverse background including service as a former Marine.

Jason Miyares, the Republican nominee for attorney general, became the first Cuban American ever elected to the General Assembly when he won an open seat in the House of Delegates in 2015. A former prosecutor for the City of Virginia Beach, Miyares has focused his legislative attention on law enforcement issues, transparency and government accountability, and affordability in higher education.

The Democratic Party will select its gubernatorial candidate in a primary election on June 8, 2021. The current candidates include:

  • Jennifer Carroll Foy, a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates (2018-2020).
  • Lee J. Carter, a current Virginia House of Delegates member (Prince William)
  • Justin Fairfax, currently serving as lieutenant governor of Virginia
  • Terry McAuliffe, former governor of Virginia (2014–2018) and former chair of the Democratic National Committee (2001–2005)
  • Jennifer McClellan, a current member of the Senate of Virginia and a former House of Delegates member (2006-2017) (Greater Richmond)

As for the Democratic lieutenant governor race, the following candidates have announced:

  • Hala Ayala, a current member of the Virginia House of Delegates (Prince William)
  • Mark Levine, a current member of the Virginia House of Delegates (Arlington / Fairfax)
  • Andria McClellan, a current member of the Norfolk City Council
  • Sean Perryman, president of the Fairfax County NAACP
  • Sam Rasoul, a current member of the Virginia House of Delegates (Roanoke)
  • Xavier Warren, a lobbyist and sports agent

In the Democratic 2021 attorney general race, the incumbent attorney general, Mark Herring is running against Del. Jay Jones, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates. Attorney General Herring previously served in the Senate of Virginia (2006-2014) and was sworn into the Office of Attorney General in 2014.

Current Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has endorsed McAuliffe for governor, Del. Ayala for lieutenant governor, and Jay Jones for attorney general.