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Democratic Party seeks information on Youngkin’s travels

Gov. Glenn Youngkin waves
Crixell Matthews
Gov. Glenn Youngkin hosts a press conference outside the Executive Mansion in Richmond last week. Youngkin's travel has come under scrutiny from Virginia Democrats amid speculation he may run for president in 2024. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

The Democratic Party of Virginia on Thursday said it plans to file public record requests designed to shed light on Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s travels. A spokesperson for the governor said he pays for his own political travel and dismissed the inquiry as a “baseless partisan attack.”

At a press conference Thursday, Del. Marcus Simon (D-Fairfax) accused Youngkin of hiding information and said Virginians deserve to know about his whereabouts amid speculation he’ll run for president in 2024.

“I think Virginians really want to know, did we elect the governor or did we just put somebody on the next step … on his own political ladder,” Simon said.

From Wyoming to Michigan, media reports indicate Youngkin spent time this summer fundraising and campaigning for Republicans. He’s reportedly making more stops to stump for candidates in New Mexico, Maine, Nevada and Georgia, among others.

VPM News asked to see Youngkin’s calendar for three weeks in July to learn more about his activities. But his office rejected that inquiry, citing a law that shields the release of working papers of the governor.

Simon said the party will ask Youngkin’s office and Virginia State Police to see Youngkin’s travel schedule as well as invoices or contracts for security services.

Democrat Tim Kaine faced similar questions about his national travels toward the end of his term as governor, while he served as chair of the Democratic National Committee. Simon argued Youngkin’s case was “different in scope and scale,” citing what he characterized as Youngkin’s extensive travel and relatively short time in office.

“It's sort of like when Donald Trump says, ‘Well, other presidents played golf, too,’” Simon said, referencing the former president’s regular outings on the links.

Macaulay Porter, a spokesperson for the governor, claimed Virginia Democrats were using the request as a distraction from their own record in power.

“The governor donates his salary and pays for his political travel,” she said. “This is a baseless partisan attack against a governor rising in popularity for following through on his promises.”

Speaking to reporters last week, Youngkin blamed the media for the presidential chatter.

“I can't make up for the fact that the media is more interested in national issues than Virginia issues,” Youngkin said. “My focus is on the commonwealth of Virginia.”


Ben Paviour covers courts and criminal justice for VPM News with a focus on accountability.
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