Del. Don Scott Takes Aim at Governor Youngkin Over Losing EV Jobs Opportunity

House Minority Leader Del. Don Scott Jr., D-Portsmouth, comments on the legislative agenda for 2023 session at the State Capitol Building in Richmond, Va. on Wednesday Jan. 11, 2023. (AP Photo/John C. Clark)

By Isabel Soisson

March 10, 2023

Democratic Del. Don Scott took aim at Governor Glenn Youngkin in a recent column in the Richmond-Times Dispatch, claiming that Virginia missed out on a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” when the governor “unilaterally walked away from negotiations with Ford” over a proposed electric vehicle battery plant.

Scott leads the House Democrats and represents the 80th district, which includes the city of Portsmouth.

Ford had been exploring the idea of opening a large electric vehicle battery plant in the state. The plant would have created 2,500 jobs in a region of the Old Dominion sorely in need of them.

“We had the chance to jump-start the economy in parts of our state that have been hollowed out and overlooked since the textile mills shut down,” Del. Don Scott wrote. “We had the opportunity to bring Ford Motor Co. to Southside Virginia – a multibillion-dollar investment that would’ve created thousands of jobs and put Virginia at the tip of the spear of the new economy.”

Gov. Youngkin publicly rejected this deal with Ford early this year, claiming that the project was a front for the Chinese Communist Party after learning of Ford’s partnership with Chinese company Contemporary Amperex Technology. Scotts asserts in his piece that the real reason Youngkin rejected the deal is because he’s planning to run for president in the 2024 election and is attempting to appeal to MAGA Republicans. He wrote that in order to succeed, Youngkin is willing to “leave Virginia communities behind.”

“Our governor claims he’s a businessman at heart. Well, if there’s one thing he should be able to do, it’s cut a good deal,” Scott wrote. “But instead, those jobs and investments are going to Michigan, which is moving full-speed ahead.”

Scott called into question Youngkin’s priorities, writing that while Democrats were “pushing to increase teacher pay, guarantee freedom for women, and lower costs for families during a time of inflation” this past General Assembly session, Gov. Youngkin focused on “divisive cultural issues.” These included “jailing women who receive abortion care, attacking transgender students in schools and, creepily, trying to give the state authority to use women’s menstrual data as evidence for criminal prosecution.”

“The truth is that bringing Ford to Virginia would’ve been the commonsense – and patriotic – economic development project that past Democrats and Republicans would have enthusiastically embraced,” Scott wrote. “This undermines our economy, disserves our workers, and flies in the face of the governor’s rhetoric that ‘Virginia is open for business.’”

Scott concluded by saying that Youngkin won the governorship by “pretending he wasn’t MAGA,” but that now we see “that obviously isn’t true.”

“There’s a season for politics,” he wrote. “And when that season comes, I do not believe Republicans will select Youngkin as their nominee (in 2024). But if they do, I guarantee you this: He won’t win Virginia. We won’t forget that when we had a generational opportunity to lift our economy and push us forward, he left us in the dust.”

  • Isabel Soisson

    Isabel Soisson is a multimedia journalist who has worked at WPMT FOX43 TV in Harrisburg, along with serving various roles at CNBC, NBC News, Philadelphia Magazine, and Philadelphia Style Magazine.

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