Burlington County freeholder-elect George Youngkin says he will will resign upon his swearing in, clearing the way for Democrats to replace him in January.
Youngkin suspended his campaign last month after the Burlington County Times reported that he was arrested on domestic violence charges in 2006. It was too late to replace him on the November 6 ballot.
Yesterday, voters elected Youngkin and running mate Felicia Hopson by a wide margin over Republican incumbents Kate Gibbs and Linda Hughes. That will give Democrats a 4-1 majority.
“After meeting with George Youngkin this morning, in the interest of the Burlington County Democratic Party, and the residents of Burlington County, George chose to resign upon being sworn-in,” said Burlington County Democratic Chairman Joseph Andl. “Because there is not a mechanism for George to step-down prior to being sworn-in, he will resign from his Freeholder post effective January 2, 2019. This decision will allow our party to move forward in a unified fashion as we celebrate the historic victories of Freeholder Elect Felicia Hopson and Clerk Elect Joanne Schwartz.”
Youngkin said that he was “truly humbled by the outpouring of support from the residents of Burlington County.”
“Last night, in a moment of revelry, I gave a statement that I plan to serve as a Freeholder,” Youngkin said. “While I am appreciative of the support, after speaking with Burlington County Democratic Chairman Joe Andl, this morning, I am concerned that my service as a Freeholder will affect the ability of our newly elected to advance the interests of Burlington County. This is not an easy decision for me, however, easy decisions are rarely correct decisions. I am confident and resolved this is the right decision for myself, the Democratic Party and the residents of Burlington County.”
The Burlington County Democratic organization will hold a special election convention in January to pick Youngkin’s replacement. There will be a special election in November 2019 to fill the remaining 26 months of his term.
“I have always maintained that the report that was produced and used against me, was not representative of what happened, or who I am. My position on this has not changed. That said, I am committed to having those who have not gotten a fair opportunity to know who I am and the values I promote, to get to know me through my continued service to others,” said Youngkin. “Further to my mission, I have chosen to donate the remaining balance of my campaign account, which is almost $25,000, to the Providence House, an outstanding non-profit organization, where I volunteered, whose mission is to provide addiction, domestic violence, mental health, trauma and abuse recovery services to more than 100,000 individuals, annually