Virginia voters chose three candidates who put up a passionate fight against their opponents’ plans to spend more government money and raise taxes.
All three Republicans running for statewide office – Glenn Youngkin, Jason Miyares, and Winsome Sears – signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a promise to voters that they will oppose “any and all” efforts to raise taxes while in office. Youngkin will be Virginia’s 74th governor, Sears the lieutenant governor-elect, and Miyares Attorney General.
The three Republican candidates’ written commitment against new taxes gave them a palpable advantage in a state Joe Biden won by a 10-point margin.
Miyares, who will serve as Virginia’s first Latino attorney general, championed public safety and responsible government spending during his campaign. As a House of Delegates representative, Miyares cut business regulations and sponsored a constitutional amendment for property tax relief.
Sears will likewise make history as the first woman of color to become lieutenant governor.
As for Youngkin, tax cuts proved to be a popular part of the prospective governor’s agenda. Since announcing his campaign, the former CEO focused heavily on his plans to ease Virginians’ tax burden, particularly in light of the state’s massive budget surplus last year.
“Virginia ran a $2.6 billion surplus last year in the middle of a pandemic because the liberal leadership in Richmond overtaxed everybody,” Youngkin said during a candidate forum in McLean last month. “That’s Virginia’s money, not Terry McAuliffe’s.”
Last month, Youngkin released a “Day One” game plan that would slash taxes in Virginia by a substantial $1.8 billion – the equivalent of $1,500 in first-year savings for a family of four. Among other priorities, the innovative tax plan would eliminate the 2.5 percent sales tax on food and personal hygiene products, provide a one-time tax rebate of $600 and $1,200 for individual and joint filers, and require voter approval for any local property tax increase.
“It’s time for Virginia to be the place where everyone wants to live, not leave,” Youngkin said during his victory speech Tuesday.
As Youngkin, Miyares, and Sears signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, their opponents doubled down on a tax-and-spend agenda. McAuliffe’s policy proposals – mainly new social and education spending – would have forced Democrats to push for higher taxes, despite a weak statement from his campaign policy director that he had no plans to do so.
McAuliffe previously promoted tens of millions in new taxes on Northern Virginia residents during his first term as Virginia governor from 2014 to 2018, including a $65 million tax hike on real estate, hotel stays, and gasoline. The former governor also proposed the first $100 billion budget in Virginia history. This time around, McAuliffe hoped to give $2 billion to teachers unions to raise salaries and create a universal pre-K program in Virginia.
Thankfully, voters can have confidence that Taxpayer Protection Pledge signers Youngkin, Sears, and Miyares will oppose tax hikes and defend the livelihoods of Virginia families and businesses.