(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Virginia’s Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin planned to schmooze wealthy GOP donors by inviting them to an upscale weekend at a Virginia Beach resort, where the topic of a last-ditch Establishment challenge to former President Donald Trump’s dominating 2024 presidential run was almost certain to be on everyone’s mind.
Funded by his Spirit of Virginia political action committee, the weekend vacation package at the historic Cavalier Resort featured fine-dining opportunities, stunning views, and meet-and-greets with the man himself, according to the Washington Post.
Youngkin’s PAC hosted a similar event—known as the “Red Vest Retreat”—last year. However, this year’s event comes ahead of a statewide midterm election, which could significantly boost or diminish Youngkin’s political stock.
The event will take place in the middle of October, three weeks prior to the General Assembly races where Republicans need to pick up at least two seats to gain a majority in the 40-member state Senate.
Meanwhile, they hope to retain a razor-thin lead in the 100-seat House of Delegates, where they have a three-seat advantage, but where there are currently five vacant seats.
According to the Washington Post, Democrats had enjoyed a fundraising advantage, but Youngin’s PAC was helping significantly to close the gap.
The upcoming retreat will cost would-be attendees six figures up front, just to get in the door. The hotel boasts 600 beachfront rooms, but only 85 in the historic portion.
“I know that [the Youngkin campaign was] concerned that we may not be large enough to be able to handle the group in the historic portion,” said developer Bruce Thompson.
“There’s a lot of folks that have indicated that they would like to attend something that might be influential with respect to the governor’s decision… [regarding] what he might do in the future,” Thompson added.
Youngkin publicly insisted that his focus remains on Virginia, and announced plans to seek a 15 week abortion ban with exceptions.
While some of the attendees reportedly share a similar focus on the state of Virginia, many of the ones with deeper pockets have their sights set on the highest office in the land and hope to push Youngkin into a presidential campaign.
An op-ed last week by veteran journalist Robert Costa revealed that donors including recently retired Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch may be on Team Glenn if he were to express interest.
Youngkin’s staff did not directly respond to the comments, but posted to Twitter—emphasizing the governor’s focus on state-level elections.
“As we’ve said many times before, Glenn Youngkin is solely focused on our Virginia legislative elections… which are already underway,” the post read. “Voters started casting ballots last week.”
As we’ve said many times before, @GlennYoungkin is solely focused on our Virginia legislative elections…which are already underway. Voters started casting ballots last week. Folks can find out where they can vote early at https://t.co/5ytjhuC3wb. https://t.co/glYy1IuKn9
— Dave Rexrode (@DRexrode) September 28, 2023