Priorities USA partners with top teachers union to hit Youngkin on education

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin announces his proposed budget plan if elected during an event at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va., on Thursday, July 29, 2021
Greg Nash

Democratic super PAC Priorities USA announced on Wednesday it is partnering with the American Federation of Teachers on a six-figure ad buy hitting GOP Virginia gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin on his recent rhetoric on education-related issues. 

The PAC and the union released two ads, one hitting Youngkin on education, and the other praising Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe on the issue. 

Education and parents rights’ issues have become a major issue in the closing days in the campaign. Youngkin’s campaign has seized on comments from McAuliffe last month in which the former governor said that he did not believe that parents should be telling schools what to teach.

Youngkin has also tapped into the outrage seen at school board meetings in Virginia and across the country on issues such as critical race theory and transgender rights, and how to handle explicit content in learning material. 

The former private equity CEO faced backlash from his Democratic critics this week after he featured in an ad a Fairfax County mother who pushed to have the 1987 novel “Beloved” banned from her son’s English curriculum in 2013. In the ad, the mother details her push to require schools to tell parents if books in their child’s curriculum contain explicit content and allow students to opt out of reading the material. The award-winning Toni Morrison book tells the story of former slaves after the Civil War and depicts some of the horrors of slavery in graphic detail. 

“Priorities USA is proud to partner with the American Federation of Teachers to reach Virginians at a crucial point in this election cycle. The future of our children is at stake and we cannot let Glenn Youngkin turn racist fear mongering into education policy,” Priorities USA Chairman Guy Cecil said in a statement. 

Youngkin has received support from conservative groups on the education issue. Last week, Free to Learn Action rolled out a more than $1 million ad campaign targeting McAuliffe on education. 

Tags 2021 elections election 2021 Glenn Youngkin Terry McAuliffe Toni Morrison Virginia Virginia gubernatorial election

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