RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Republican Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin announced Wednesday he had assembled groups including lawmakers, law enforcement officials, business owners and others to coordinate transition work with outgoing Gov. Ralph Northam's administration.
Also among the scores of people on what Youngkin called “landing teams” are health care experts, veterans, attorneys and early campaign supporters. Each is team is chaired by a Republican lawmaker.
The governor-elect said in a statement that the groups would “conduct due diligence across all agencies” to help determine “how government can begin to serve Virginians better and start delivering on our Day One promises of better schools, safer streets, a lower cost of living, and more jobs.”
Members of the Northam administration have been meeting daily with Youngkin transition representatives, Clark Mercer, Northam’s chief of staff, said.
“Our staffs are working to make sure the incoming administration has the transition memos, agency overviews, and personnel lists they need to be successful. This is how transitions are supposed to go, and we are grateful for the professional approach taken by both Governor Northam and Governor-elect Youngkin in setting this important tone not only for the Commonwealth, but also the country,” he wrote in an email.
A former private equity executive, Youngkin defeated former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe earlier this month in an Election Day that marked a sweep for Republicans, who also notched victories in the race for attorney general and lieutenant governor. Republicans have also claimed to have retaken the majority in the House of Delegates; while Democratic leaders effectively conceded, two critical races that remain uncalled by The Associated Press are headed to recounts. Incumbent Democrats trail their Republican challengers in those races.
Youngkin previously announced that Jeff Goettman, a top campaign staffer and former official in the Department of the Treasury under former President Donald Trump, would serve as his transition director. But few other transition details had been announced, prompting speculation among interested parties who have been watching closely for signs of how the political newcomer will govern.
Devin O’Malley, a Youngkin spokesperson, confirmed transition officials have been asked to sign nondisclosure agreements, a tool also employed during the campaign. He said the agreements would allow for productive conversations and ensure those conversations are in the public's interest.
Since his win, Youngkin has been making stops across the state, visiting community events like a basketball clinic and food bank fundraiser, and holding what he's called “thank you rallies” with supporters.
Earlier in the week, the Democratic Party of Virginia announced it planned to hold a post-election “debrief tour," a chance to talk with voters, candidates and elected officials about the party's poor performance on Election Day as well as the 2022 election cycle.
“As a Party, it’s important for us to meet our voters and supporters where they are and have these tough conversations,” chairwoman Susan Swecker said in a statement.
The tour will begin Dec. 1 in Farmville, followed by stops around the state before wrapping up Dec. 7 in Richmond.
Jayce Genco, the state Democratic party's communications director, said Wednesday that Youngkin's slate of transition team members suggested he would push an “extreme agenda that is not representative of the Commonwealth."
Sarah Rankin, The Associated Press