Davina Efetie, Contributing Writer
Republican Winsome Sears will be the next lieutenant governor of Virginia. Sears won the race by 2 points against Democratic candidate Hala Ayala, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
Sears won the lieutenant governor seat with 51.01% of the votes, and Ayala garnered 48.99%.
“I am at a loss for words for the first time in my life. I’m here because of you all and because you voted for me and put your trust in me,” Sears said in her victory speech at Glenn Youngkin’s election night party. “I’m telling you that what you are looking at is the American dream.”
Sears will be the first Black woman and woman of color to serve as lieutenant governor of Virginia. She also is the first and only Black Republican woman, female veteran and legal immigrant elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, according to Sears campaign spokesperson Delceno Miles. Sears moved to the United States from Kingston, Jamaica when she was 6 years old.
Sears stated in an email she previously served as the vice president of the Virginia State Board of Education, and previously served in the U.S. Marines, where she learned a trade as an electrician and diesel mechanic. The Jamaican-born lieutenant governor-elect is a mother to three children, who were under the age of five right before she started her college career, Sears stated in a press release.
“I am very much aware of the different needs and difficulties that the traditional, returning and nontraditional student will face,” Sears stated in a press release.
Sears stated she plans to provide an inclusive society that would support small businesses by enacting a 12-month small business tax holiday. In addition to that, she plans to provide a “space” that would help the formerly incarcerated become productive members of society.
“To help Virginians by providing economic resources (remove food tax, remove tax on veteran’s benefits, etc.) for their full recovery from the pandemic, an education system that equips our students to have a hope and a future with marketable skills to create generational wealth,’’ Sears stated.
Sears raised about $2.5 million dollars for her campaign, with her top two donors from political committee organizations being the Republican State Leadership Committee, which donated $386,950, and Virginia Wins Political Action Committee, which donated $75,000.
“It’s a historic night, yes it is but I didn’t run to make history, I just wanted to leave it better than I found it and with your help we’re going to do that,” Sears said.