WASHINGTON — Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin will travel to Texas next month to be the guest of honor at a reception and dinner hosted by a billionaire Republican political donor, as speculation mounts about the tenure governor’s domestic political ambitions. limited.
On the same April trip, Youngkin will speak at the George W. Bush Presidential Library, part of a billed event as a «Forum on Leadership: Answering the Call». Such events are often an opportunity for potential candidates to present policy visions to potential donors.
While in Texas, Youngkin will also be greeted by Republican megadonor Robert Rowling, owner of the Omni hotel chain, and his wife, Terry, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by NBC News. Forbes puts Rowling’s net worth at $5.5 billion.
This dinner was first reported by the washington post.
The trip to Texas comes as Youngkin, whose term is limited by Virginia law, has been building his national profile while weighing a possible 2024 presidential run. In the 2022 midterm elections, he campaigned for Republican candidates in battleground states in the battlefield, including Georgia and Arizona. Last week he participated in a nationally televised town hall on CNN focused on education, the main issue of his 2021 gubernatorial campaign.
In January, Youngkin told NBC News that he was «overwhelmingly honored» to be talking about a presidential campaign, but remained focused on Virginia. That remains the case, according to a source familiar with Youngkin’s thinking on the matter, but who also noted that in 2016, the GOP’s last open primary, candidates announced well into the summer, and that candidates who entered early in the race, like Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, they quickly faded from contention.
Youngkin has barely registered in the polls as of early 2024, but his victory in a purple state and his ability to significantly self-finance a national campaign may leave him in a lane in a potentially crowded Republican field.
The trip to Dallas could further introduce Youngkin into the fertile fundraising grounds of the Texas Republican Party, especially if no Texas candidate is currently expected to enter the race.
Rowling alone was a prodigious supporter of Republican campaigns in the 2022 midterms, handing over half a million dollars to the top House GOP super PAC and a quarter million to the McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund.