Virginia voters on why they switched parties to back Glenn Youngkin: 'Democrats weren't listening'

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Fairfax County parent Briana Howard, lifelong Democrat Saundra Davis, and mother of two Bethany Heim joined “Fox & Friends First” to discuss why they voted Republican during the Virginia gubernatorial race. 

“My key focus was education, and I felt like Democrats were not listening to the voices of parents and our concerns throughout the COVID pandemic related to school closures,” Howard told Griff Jenkins

Gov. Glenn Youngkin speaks during an inauguration ceremony, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Gov. Glenn Youngkin speaks during an inauguration ceremony, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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“And Republicans, especially Governor Youngkin, when he was running his campaign, was listening to our voice and made clear action plans to address our concerns,” she continued. 

Davis echoed Howard’s sentiment, explaining how making children the priority was on of her main focuses when casting her ballot last fall. 

“I would like nothing more to still be a Democrat,” Davis stated. “Locally my own, the Democratic Committee actually, refused admittance to me recently because of my support for Glenn Youngkin, and putting children first, so I basically have no political home.”

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Heim also stressed the importance of quality education and reopening schools for in-person learning, but she was met with pushback from her left-wing peers. 

“It was just really frustrating trying to speak to my Democrat representatives,” said Heim. “It was like talking to a brick wall because I wanted schools open or some sort of game plan to get schools open… I even want a game plan to get masks off. They treated me as if I was a Republican.”

Gov. Glenn Youngkin was sworn in over the weekend, as the first Republican governor elected since 2009, and signed 11 executive actions on his first day in office. 

Among those actions was an executive order banning critical race theory in public schools, and revoking the school mask mandate, allowing parents the freedom to choose if their children will mask-up in the classroom. 

“They need to listen to our voices,” Howard explained. “What I found throughout the school closure is that many of the Democratic candidates that I voted for, they were more concerned of appeasing the teachers unions than they were of providing adequate educational services to our students and listening to parents.”

There was a dramatic red-leaning shift in party preference in 2021, giving the Republican Party their largest lead since 1995. 

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