The Democrat running for governor in Virginia against a Republican endorsed by former President Donald Trump raised more than $100,000 in 24 hours after a fundraising email authored by Mary Trump, the former president’s niece, was sent to supporters.
A spokesperson for the campaign of former Gov Terry McAuliffe, who is running to represent the state a second time, confirmed the haul to The Independent in an email, while not providing the exact amount raised.
The email authored by Ms Trump arrived in supporters’ inboxes last Thursday around 8:30 p.m. with a subject line referring to Glenn Youngkin, the Republican nominee, that simply read “He worships my uncle”.
Ms Trump went on to accuse Mr Youngkin in the email of embracing “everything my uncle stood for”, including the spread of false claims about the 2020 election.
“He said that Donald Trump represents so much of why he’s running for office, sold the ‘Big Lie’ that the 2020 election was in some way invalid, wants to bring Betsy DeVos’ public education destruction to Virginia, and has been endorsed by my uncle SIX TIMES,” Ms Trump wrote.
Mr Youngkin declined to answer during the GOP primary whether he thought President Joe Biden was the legitimate winner of the 2020 election, though he has done so since winning the Republican nomination and pivoting his campaign towards the general election. He called the contest “certifiably fair” during a debate earlier this year.
“I’ve said over and over again that Joe Biden’s our president,” Mr Youngkin during a debate against Mr McAuliffe, before adding: “I wish he wasn’t.”
He has tread a fine line on the issue, however, and called for greater scrutiny of voting machines in the state as well as regular audits of voting machinery in the state (ignoring that Virginia already does so annually).
By making such comments, he has sought to maintain his hold over the large segment of the GOP base which refuses to acknowledge the results of the 2020 election and has bought in to the false claims of fraud made by the former president.
Mr Trump himself has rewarded Mr Youngkin for those remarks, and recently issued a press release touting the Virginia Republican’s demand for audits that already take place.
Democrats have sought to clearly tie Mr Youngkin to Mr Trump and by extension the deadly attack on the US Capitol in January and the former president’s ongoing efforts to sow disinformation about the 2020 election.
“Glenn Youngkin’s priorities are clear: he is running for governor to bring Donald Trump’s dangerous conspiracy theories to Virginia,” said Mr McAuliffe earlier this month.
Polls have shown Mr McAuliffe with a slim lead ahead of the general election in November. The state has voted for Democrats at the presidential level every year since 2008, and currently has two Democratic senators.
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