Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin talks transition with Northam; releases tax info

Free Press wire reports | 11/11/2021, 6 p.m.
Republican Gov.-elect Glenn A. Youngkin met with outgoing Democratic Gov. Ralph S. Northam last week for a lunch with their …
Gov. Ralph S. Northam, second from left, speaks to the media as Gov.-elect Glenn A. Youngkin and his wife, Suzanne, right, and First Lady Pam Northam listen after a luncheon Nov. 4 at the Governor’s Mansion in Capitol Square in Downtown. Photo by Steve Helber/Associated Press

Republican Gov.-elect Glenn A. Youngkin met with outgoing Democratic Gov. Ralph S. Northam last week for a lunch with their wives at the Executive Mansion in Capitol Square, with both pledging a smooth transition of power.

“Today was the beginning of a friendship,” said Gov.-elect Youngkin, who defeated Democratic nominee and former Gov. Terry R. McAuliffe Nov. 2 in an election that also saw a wave of Republican victories in down-ballot races.

Gov.-elect Youngkin, a 54-year-old former private equity firm executive and political neophyte, said he was humbled to stand in front of the historic Governor’s Mansion.

In brief remarks Nov. 4 to the news media, he thanked Gov. Northam for hosting what he called “a lovely lunch.” “I just want to thank you for the incredibly cooperative way that you’ve, of course, expressed you’re going to help us,” Gov.-elect Youngkin said. “It’s important. We have a lot of work to do.”

The governor-elect, who selectively engaged with reporters while campaigning, pledged to be “incredibly open and accessible” while in office.

Late last week, Gov.-elect Youngkin disclosed what his campaign said are summaries of recent tax returns that show the substantial amounts of income he made and has given away.

Summaries of his returns over the past five tax years indicate that Gov.-elect Youngkin cumulatively made $127 million during that period. Almost half of that income, or $59 million, originated from capital gains, according to a spreadsheet provided to The Washington Post by his campaign a few days after his election.

The spreadsheet also shows Gov.-elect Youngkin also gave $52.6 million to charity and paid nearly $18 million in taxes, the newspaper reported.

Virginia gubernatorial candidates aren’t required to disclose their returns. Gov.-elect Youngkin’s release comes after his campaign and former Gov. McAuliffe’s campaign made commitments to The Associated Press months ago that they would disclose at least some information from recent tax returns before the Nov. 2 election. But time passed and neither fulfilled that commitment.

Gov.-elect Youngkin, who stepped down as co-CEO of The Carlyle Group in 2020, made $39.8 million last year, the Post reported. He also gave nearly $15 million to charity and paid about $6.8 million in federal income taxes.

His campaign didn’t provide copies of his actual tax filings. Neither the Post nor AP could independently verify the figures.

The campaign also did not disclose who benefited from his charitable giving. But the Post reported that Gov.-elect Youngkin and his wife, Suzanne, gave about $23 million between 2016 and 2018 to the Phos Foundation, a religious non-profit they founded and direct from their home, according to an IRS form filed by the foundation.

“The family’s extensive charitable giving extends to many charitable organizations that they did not found,” Gov.-elect Youngkin’s campaign said in a statement.

Mandatory financial disclosure forms filed by Gov.-elect Youngkin and former Gov. McAuliffe earlier this year provide a broad look at each candidate’s personal liabilities, investments and income from business interests. And campaign finance reports show that as of late October, Gov.-elect Youngkin had poured at least $20 million of his own money into his run against Mr. McAuliffe, who was governor from 2014 to 2018.

Gov.-elect Youngkin pledged in April not to accept a salary as governor, saying he would donate his paycheck to charity. The current annual salary for Virginia’s governor is $175,000.

Last Thursday, Gov. Northam called the luncheon with the Youngkins—where staffers said the couples dined on beef tenderloin, butternut-pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie—an opportunity to congratulate the governor-elect on a successful campaign and welcome the couple to their new home.

“We look forward to Mr. Youngkin and his wife taking over and continuing on a lot of the good progress that we made,” said Gov. Northam, who was barred by state law from seeking a second consecutive term.

Gov. Northam said he and the new governor-elect found common ground in a shared hobby—basketball. He joked that Gov.-elect Youngkin, a former collegiate player, progressed much further in the sport than he had, and added, “We have picked out the perfect place for a basketball goal behind the mansion.”

Gov.-elect Youngkin will be sworn in on Saturday, Jan. 15. Preparations for the inauguration already are underway on the Capitol grounds.

Republican Jason S. Miyares, who defeated Attorney General Mark R. Herring, who was seeking a third term, also was in Richmond Nov. 4 for a news conference, where he outlined what he said would be his top priorities.

Mr. Miyares, currently a member of the House of Delegates representing Virginia Beach, promised a focus on “public safety and law enforcement,” as well as protecting seniors and going after human traffickers, particularly on the Interstate 95 and Interstate 81 corridors.

He also pledged to investigate the Loudoun County public school system, which has been facing community outrage over the case of a student who allegedly committed sex crimes at two area schools.

When asked whether he would make any changes to the Attorney General’s Office of Civil Rights, which Mr. Herring created earlier this year, Mr. Miyares said he needed to get a sense of how it operates before making any decisions.