On Tuesday, Virginia state delegate Hala Ayala won her race in the Virginia Democratic primary, becoming the Democratic candidate for the lieutenant governor of Virginia.
Del. Ayala was the first Afro-Latina elected to the Virginia General Assembly and is a strong champion for the Equal Rights Amendment. She was instrumental in helping Virginia become the 38th and final state needed to ratify the ERA in early 2020. If elected she would make history as the first woman elected to the office, and the first woman of color elected statewide.
“When you live a life of struggle — losing a father to gun violence, surviving childbirth thanks only to Medicaid, and almost losing my son — it puts things in perspective. I understand the struggles so many Virginia families face because I’ve lived them, and that experience is why I worked with my colleagues to expand Medicaid for over 500,000 Virginians, fight for gun violence prevention, raise teacher pay, and ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. And while we have made tremendous progress, there is still so much work left to do,” said Ayala in a statement released after her victory.
“We need to rebuild our local economy stronger than before, create jobs, and support our small businesses and workers. We need to expand access to health care and lower prescription drug costs. We need to invest in our infrastructure, like broadband, and bridge the digital divide facing our rural communities. We need to support and improve our school systems from Pre-K to post-secondary and give our students and teachers the tools they need to succeed. And we need to continue reforming our criminal justice system for a more equitable Commonwealth so that every Virginian can feel safe in their community,” she said.
Of her Republican opponent Winsome Sears she said: “We must protect the progress we have made from extremists like Winsome Sears. Sears and her extreme far-right running mates have repeatedly advocated for stripping Virginians of their voting rights, defunding our public school system, and gutting affordable healthcare for more than half-million Virginians. Virginia families simply cannot afford to have an anti-progress, pro-Trump Lieutenant Governor.”
The Virginia elections will take place on November 3 of this year.