‘A change is on its way’: Southwest Virginia lawmakers share hopes ahead of Youngkin’s inauguration

Glenn Youngkin will be the first Republican elected to the office since 2009

By this time Saturday, Virginia will have a new governor.

ROANOKE, Va. – On Saturday, Glenn Youngkin, Virginia’s 74th elected governor, will be inaugurated in Richmond.

The incoming governor’s team is planning a celebratory inaugural weekend that will include a mix of high-dollar ticketed events and other functions open to the public, according to a program that also touts an appearance by an unspecified Grammy-winning musical artist, the Associated Press reports.

Some leadership from Central and Southwest Virginia say they are most looking forward to a political change in the Commonwealth, while others say their aim is bipartisanship.

“I certainly pray that the healthcare situation in the state will get better,” said Del. Matt Fariss.

The Republican represents the 59th district and says he is excited to witness a republican become Governor, the first of his political career (former Gov. Bob McDonnell was already in office when Fariss took office).

[Gov. Northam reflects on Virginia’s successes during his four years in office]

“I’m looking forward to an economy that will have less regulation and less taxes. The other is, parents across Virginia are looking forward to being more involved in their students’ education. The last one is public safety,” said Sen. Steve Newman.

The Republican says “we will respect law enforcement and our citizens.”

“I think you’re going to see a much-improved emphasis in looking at how we can bring our entire state forward not just certain areas,” said Del. Joe McNamara, a Republican lawmaker who represents the 8th district.

Del. Sam Rasoul is the only Democrat in the House of Delegates on the western half of the state.

“My job is to bring everyone along and work with everyone to better our region,” said Rasoul. “There is always certain partisan battles that happen, but what we can look forward to is working with my Republican colleagues in our region to represent our region.”

Newman and Rasoul are both on the inauguration committee.

The theme of the weekend is “Strengthen the Spirit of Virginia Together.”

The Associated Press reports there will be several dinners and receptions along with the traditional ceremony.

“He’s got a first-day plan that I think is going to be very effective in helping all of Virginia,” said Newman.

Youngkin will be sworn on Jan. 15 as the first Republican elected to the office since 2009.


About the Author:

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.