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by Brandon Jarvis

Glenn Youngkin told his supporters on the campaign trail that he planned to announce who will be leading his education department by Dec. 1 — but that day has arrived and the governor-elect is not ready to say who will have the job just yet. In an interview last week, he blamed the abundance of applicants and the need for a thorough review as the reason for the delay. He reiterated that in an interview with Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday while going more in-depth about what he is looking for in his education department leaders. 

“I had really planned on having our Secretary of Education announced this week particularly,” Youngkin said during the interview with Hewitt. “We really have a real challenge of riches in that we have so many people that have applied for these positions that we want to make sure we are doing a real thorough job in evaluating them all.” 

Education was the leading topic on his campaign’s platform and he is expected to put a heavy focus on that department during his administration. Youngkin talked about the national attention his campaign experienced leading to an increase of applicants to sift through.

“This election became a national movement,” Youngkin said Monday. “We had such a big national spotlight on us that it has really brought out just an incredible depth of talent. So we are going to be a little behind on our Secretary of Education appointment just from a timing standpoint, but the caliber and quality of the people we are selecting from just has been so encouraging.” 

Hewitt pushed Youngkin to take his time in interviewing potential members of his administration. 

“We won’t rush. I think one of the big mistakes is that Virginia has oftentimes settled,” Youngkin said, before adding that his administration will be ready by the time he is inaugurated. “We will be ready to take office on Jan. 15.”  

Hewitt asked if Youngkin will be looking to hire only people who are older with a long resume of experience. “We are not focused on age, we are focused on capability and talent,” Youngkin responded, noting that he wants to build an array of experiences in his cabinet. “ Virginians deserve it.” 

Youngkin said they are asking applicants about their history while also conducting their own review to try and ensure they don’t hire anyone that can cause distractions to the administration. 

“Rest assured we are not only asking, but we are also doing our checking too. I think this is a critical part of putting together a great team is that you don’t have situations that would distract people from getting a job done.” 

As for any concern among Republicans that Youngkin will tone down his campaign promises on education to present a more moderate approach to politics, Youngkin says he will be hiring leaders that will be focused solely on helping him execute his plans. 

“My day one agenda is going to be our day one agenda,” Youngkin said. “We are going to make sure that the folks that are selected into this administration are fully aligned with what we are going to go get done. This isn’t a moment for freelancing, this is a moment for us to deliver on what we have promised we are going to go do.”  

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By vascope