Virginia gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin said he would support former President Donald Trump in 2024 if he gets the Republican Party’s nomination.
Mr. Youngkin, who received the president’s endorsement several times, made the pledge at the final debate against Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe in Alexandria on Tuesday.
“If he’s the Republican nominee, I’ll support him,” Mr. Youngkin said, while adding the caveat that nobody knows yet who will seek the party’s presidential nod.
Mr. McAuliffe has used Mr. Trump’s unpopularity in Virginia to paint Mr. Youngkin as a clone of the former president.
The Republican addressed those attacks Tuesday, asserting his independence from Mr. Trump.
“There’s an over and under tonight on how many times you’re going to say Donald Trump, and it was 10. It [was] just busted through. You’re running against Glenn Youngkin,” he said.
In a radio interview last week, Mr. Trump said he believed Mr. Youngkin could win, but he won’t be successful by treading carefully about his support for him.
“The only guys that win are the guys that embrace the MAGA movement,” Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Youngkin trails Mr. McAuliffe slightly in the average of polls, though each man leads in some surveys.
A Monday poll by Monmouth University showed Mr. McAuliffe had a 5-point lead with 48% of support over Mr. Youngkin’s 43%.
The poll of 801 Virginia voters was conducted between Sept. 22-26. It had an error margin of 3.5% percentage points.