PHOENIX — You may have heard or read that Virginia has elected a new governor — Glenn Youngkin, the first Republican elected to that position in 12 years.
What you may not have heard is that Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is receiving some of the credit for the Republican win, especially ahead of the midterm elections in 2022.
THANK YOU, VIRGINIA!— Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) November 3, 2021
It’s a new day in the Commonwealth, and I am profoundly humbled by the trust placed on me.
We are going to get to work on Day One to ensure that Virginians soar and never settle. pic.twitter.com/hGN89mZ8kr
Three years ago when Gov. Ducey was elected to a second term, no one thought back then that the road would travel through Virginia.
“Ducey had a good night because the RGA (Republican Governors Association) won Virginia and almost New Jersey. That alone is incredible,” said Stan Barnes, a Republican political consultant.
As chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Gov. Ducey received his share of credit on social media for the Republican win in Virginia, including one from conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt.
You may not notice it, but savvy observers of the GOP are thanking AZ Gov @dougducey tonight b/c he led @GlennYoungkin charge within the @GOPGovs as Chair of the group. @GOPChairwoman also getting props as is, most of all Team Youngkin and their candidate.— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) November 3, 2021
NO MATTER: What ultimately happens in #Virginia and #NewJersey tonight Arizonans @dougducey and @jp_twist as Chairman & Political Director of @GOPGovs now among hottest political personalities in #USA as #2022 wave year in making for #GOP, with tonight a compelling prequel— Jason Rose PR (@jasonrosepr) November 3, 2021
Tons of credit to @GlennYoungkin and the VAGOP tonight, but don’t underestimate the role played by @GOPGovs . This is exactly why the group asked Chairman @dougducey to come back for another term. https://t.co/Ypqhgs7325— Matthew Benson (@MatthewWBenson) November 3, 2021
Gov. Ducey helped raise $14 million for Youngkin's campaign through the Republican Governor's Association.
He is also being credited with offering a road map to victory.
“We’re going to have a record fundraising year for the RGA this cycle. A lot of that is due to Governor Ducey’s efforts and then encouraging us to continue to focus on the issues that matter to voters,” said RGA Executive Director Dave Rexride.
In Virginia, that meant a campaign focused on quality of life, public safety, and the price of gasoline and not on former president Donald Trump.
As Arizona prepares to elect its next governor after Gov. Ducey reached his term limit, Stan Barnes said focusing on the issues is something all candidates in the race should remember.
“I’m thinking the candidates in Arizona this morning are looking at the victory by the Republicans in Virginia and what I hope they’re getting is his message was more broad than simply Trump was done wrong,” he said.
Until Trump, issues over personalities were usually a good bet with Arizona voters. After Virginia, we may start to see a return to those days on the campaign trail.
“Every political consultant worth his salt is trying to scrub a new game plan," Barnes said.