Governor Youngkin makes his final pitch to Virginia voters with education as the top issue
Leesburg, Virginia– On the eve of Election Day, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin delivered his final address to voters at a rally, telling the crowd: “We have to stand up for our children.”
Monday night’s event, hosted by Youngkin’s Spirit of Virginia Political Action Committee at a stadium in Leesburg, Va., put education and “parental rights” front and center as a key issue for Republican voters ahead of Tuesday’s election.
“We will put [parents] “At the head of the table responsible for our children’s lives,” Youngkin said.
At the state’s final GOP rally, before voters head to the polls on Tuesday, Youngkin targeted social media companies, linking them to issues of bullying and youth mental health struggles. He also said Democrats and social media giants are not prioritizing children’s safety.
“[Democrats] “I truly believe that children belong to the state and not to families,” Youngkin said.
The rally, which was part of Youngkin’s “Secure Your Vote” campaign aimed at encouraging Republicans to vote early, included several of the state’s top Republicans, including Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares and Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earl Sears.
“When you’re talking about my child, all bets are off,” Earls Sears said.
“The stakes couldn’t be higher,” Mitares echoed. “Parents are important.”
Loudoun County, where the event was held, became the epicenter of the conservative “parental rights” moment in 2021 due to pandemic learning policies in schools and Republican criticism of schools’ focus on racial equity.
Voters in the fast-growing suburb will choose a new school board on Tuesday with all nine seats on the ballot.
“We have to get this done,” Youngkin told the crowd. “The Parents Matter movement that we started here in Loudoun County and has spread throughout the county…and we have to ramp it up again tomorrow.”
In 2021, Youngkin ran on education — calling for parents to have more control over their children’s education after pandemic-era restrictions required remote classes.
If Republicans maintain their majority in the House and reclaim the state Senate, Youngkin could advance more education legislation.
On education, Virginia Democrats say they want to boost public school funding to address learning loss during the pandemic and other issues.
The rally also comes just days after Youngkin issued an executive order directing the Department of Education to issue guidance ensuring school divisions notify parents of school-related overdoses within 24 hours.
This article originally appeared on abcnews.go.com