On Tuesday, Del. Hala Ayala
won the Democratic
nomination for lieutenant governor
, ensuring that the state's next lieutenant governor will be a woman of color for the first time in the state's history.
Ayala, a cybersecurity
specialist from Prince William
County who is backed by the state's Democratic establishment, is Afro-Latina with Lebanese ancestry and will face Republican
nominee Winsome Sears
, a Black small business
owner, Marine veteran, and former state lawmaker.
Although Sears is a staunch conservative, Ben Tribbett, a Democratic political consultant in northern Virginia, believes she will put up a strong fight against Ayala because Ayala's support is "thin."
After leading Virginia Democrats
, including Gov. Ralph Northam, endorsed her in April
, Ayala's polling numbers skyrocketed.
“Hala’s victory in November will be contingent on Democrats capturing the governorship,” Tribbett said, adding that “she will need coattails.”
Progressive activists, groups, and elected officials, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren
(D-Mass. ), who supported Del. Sam Rasoul
's candidacy, are disappointed by Ayala's victory.
Ayala even snubs Rasoul's signature anti-corruption cause by accepting a $100,000 contribution from Dominion Energy
, in violation of her pledge as a delegate not to accept money
from state-regulated electric utilities.
She also defeated state Delegate Mark Levine, civil rights
activist and attorney Sean Perryman, Norfolk City Councilwoman Andria McClellan, and businessman Xavier Warren.