The Richmond-born businessman defeated former Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe.
A Clinton confidante, McAuliffe served as governor from 2014-2018.
Youngkin’s campaign seized on outrage over education in the Commonwealth, where suburban and rural jurisdictions have become increasingly concerned about so-called "Critical Race Theory," as well as the 1619 Project.
The campaign’s numerous ads included a line McAuliffe uttered, in which he says he doesn’t believe "parents should be telling schools what they should teach."
Youngkin drew a large crowd in Loudoun County, which encompasses Washington suburbs that have become the epicenter of parent activist groups who object to classroom curricula that include instruction about institutional racism.
His pledge to ensure parents have greater say in what their kids are taught has become a centerpiece of his campaign — possibly foreshadowing similar arguments GOP candidates will use across the country next year.
"This is a moment, a defining moment," Youngkin declared, "where we get to stand up and say no to this left, liberal, progressive agenda."
Youngkin’s win in Virginia ends the GOP’s 12-year losing streak in statewide races in Virginia.
McAuliffe’s campaign countered by painting Youngkin as a loyalist to former President Donald Trump, who is deeply unpopular in parts of Virginia.
While Barack Obama and current President Joe Biden appeared in person on behalf of McAuliffe, Trump only campaigned for Youngkin via a tele-rally.