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The Virginia Law Enforcement Sheriffs Association (VLES) is endorsing Republican Glenn Youngkin in the race for governor this cycle. Youngkin is facing Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe, the former governor of Virginia who served from 2014 to 2018. Virginia’s law does not allow for two consecutive gubernatorial terms.

“Glenn Youngkin has pledged that he will ensure our agencies have the funding and resources they need to do their jobs and keep Virginians safe,” said VLES President Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan. “I am confident that when Glenn Youngkin is governor he will tackle violent crime in our communities while working hand in hand with law enforcement, something that democratic leadership has failed to do for years.” 

The latest polling released Tuesday shows McAuliffe with a five-point lead as early voting begins in less than three weeks. Joe Biden won Virginia by 10 points last year, but Republicans are optimistic that backlash to a Democratic federal government and eight years of Democratic rule in the Virginia Executive Branch will excite enough voters to come out for Youngkin this year.

“Terry McAuliffe and his Richmond liberal allies are making it impossible to keep our communities safe by pushing a dangerous defund the police agenda,” Vaughan continued.

According to Youngkin’s campaign, The VLES is made up of 1,200 members, 83 of which are sheriffs from across the commonwealth.

“I am honored to have the support of Virginia’s law enforcement community and look forward to working closely with them to make Virginia’s communities among the safest in the nation, not the most dangerous,” said Glenn Youngkin. “Terry McAuliffe has turned his back on law enforcement and embraced the most radical elements of his party that want to defund the police, abolish ICE, and close prisons.”  

Chesterfield County’s sheriff Karl Leonard is also starring in a new Youngkin advertisement where he says “Virginia won’t be safe with four more years of Terry McAuliffe.”

“These are more baseless attacks from Glenn Youngkin that have already earned him two Pinocchios from the Washington Post,” said Renzo Olivari, a spokesperson for McAuliffe. “The truth is that Terry McAuliffe made Virginia the fourth safest state in the nation and signed one of the toughest domestic violence laws in the country. Glenn is desperate to distract from the fact that his Trumpian economic plan would defund the police and make Virginians less safe.”

Youngkin has been endorsed by the Virginia Police Benevolent Association as well.

Early voting for this election begins Sept. 17 for the Nov. 2 election.

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By vascope

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