Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox makes gubernatorial run official

Virginia Speaker of the House M. Kirkland "Kirk" Cox (R-Colonial Heights) presides over the House chamber during session as controversy swirls around the State Capitol February 07, 2019 in Richmond, VA. (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post vi

Republican former Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox is making his gubernatorial run official.

Cox announced Tuesday his run for governor next year, saying he has the right background and approach to win in a state where no Republican has won a statewide race in more than a decade.

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Cox was elected as speaker in 2018, but he lost that role after Democrats won a majority in both the House and Senate last November.

His formal announcement comes two weeks after Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump by huge margins in the state.

A growing number of suburban voters in Virginia has flocked to Democratic candidates in recent election cycles.