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GOP mega-donors calling on new GOP Gov to challenge Trump

Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Va., is interviewed by media during a media availability alongside the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24), March 10, 2022. (DVIDS)
September 25, 2023

With Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s presidential campaign struggling to gain momentum, some high-profile Republican donors are hoping for Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin to join the 2024 race as an alternative candidate to former President Donald Trump.

According to USA Today, Youngkin’s favorability and his ability to break fundraising records have led to speculation that the Virginia governor will launch a 2024 bid for the White House. USA Today also reported that some Republican leaders are hoping the governor will enter the 2024 GOP primary race.

While Youngkin has indicated that he is honored that many Republicans have suggested he consider running for president, the Virginia governor told USA Today that he is currently focused on the state-level elections in November and continuing the work he started in the state.

“It’s really humbling when people talk about 2024 and a national role for me. And I thank them, and then I reiterate that I’ve got a big job to do here,” Youngkin said.

READ MORE: 2024 GOP mega-donors eyeing Tim Scott as DeSantis loses steam, report says

Despite Youngkin’s claim that he is focused on Virginia, GOP donors are continuing to push for the governor to enter the race. Thomas Peterffy, a billionaire businessman, has vocalized his support for Youngkin, describing him as “an ideal candidate” for the Republican Party.

“I very much hope that he’s going to enter the race. People I speak to are all favorably inclined towards him,” Peterffy told Fox Business. “If he entered, I think there would be tremendous enthusiasm.” 

Rupert Murdoch, who recently announced his retirement from Fox and News Corp, also appears to be hoping that the Virginia governor will enter the 2024 presidential race, according to The New York Times. Murdoch previously appeared supportive of DeSantis before the Florida governor’s momentum evaporated.

According to USA Today, Wilbur Ross, former commerce secretary under the Trump administration, also hosted an event with top donors and Republican Party leaders in order to provide Republican leaders with “a chance to listen to Youngkin talk about how he’s going to take over the Virginia legislature.”