Koch Latino group endorses Youngkin for Virginia governor

The Libre Initiative on Friday endorsed Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, who is competing to become the southern state's first GOP governor since 2014.

Youngkin is in a dead heat against former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) in a race that could set the tone for the 2022 midterms.

The Libre Initiative, part of mega-donor Charles Koch's political network, is an advocacy group that promotes free-market ideas among U.S. Hispanics. 

Libre's endorsement of Youngkin is aimed at turning out Virginia's Latinos, who comprise 5.5 percent of the state's eligible voters. 

"Like many Latinos in Virginia Glenn Youngkin is a businessman, entrepreneur, and family man. He understands the consequences of misguided policies driving up prices in all facets of our lives," said Daniel Garza, president of The Libre Initiative.

"Youngkin is the right choice for Latinos in Virginia because he is committed to breaking down barriers to affordable health care, educational options and economic opportunities, so all families in Virginia can thrive," Garza added.

According to a recent Virginia Emerson College/Nexstar Media Group poll, the state's Hispanic voters favor Youngkin over McAuliffe by a 55 percent to 45 percent margin.

"The Libre Initiative-Virginia is eager to mobilize its grassroots army to connect more Latinos in Virginia to Glenn Youngkin's vision for the future of Virginia-a place where every person has the freedom and ability to afford and achieve their American Dream," said Michael Monrroy, coalitions director for The Libre Initiative-Virginia. 

"We are prepared to work relentlessly through November 2nd to help see his vision into fruition," added Monrroy. 

While Virginia has turned more Democratic over the past few election cycles, Youngkin has reinvigorated the state's GOP, running on an economic platform against a former governor who was initially seen as a heavy favorite to win the state again. 

Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is impeded from running for reelection because Virginia law bans successive reelection.

Youngkin, a former Carslyle Group co-CEO, has walked a fine line between running as an avid supporter of former President Trump and disavowing the more radical elements of Trumpism. 

At a rally supporting Virginia GOP candidates Wednesday, attendees swore allegiance to an American flag said to have been flown by protesters at the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

Youngkin, who did not attend the event, said "it is weird and wrong to pledge allegiance to a flag connected to Jan. 6."