Former Marine Sears Turns into 1st Feminine Lieutenant Governor of Virginia

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Republican Winsome Sears, who returned to Virginia politics after an absence of almost twenty years, has change into the primary feminine lieutenant governor and the primary girl of coloration to win statewide workplace in Virginia.

The Republican rocketed out of political obscurity to win the GOP nomination on the energy of a marketing campaign photograph during which she posed holding a army rifle.

A former Marine, Sears additionally highlighted her background as a Jamaican immigrant, campaigning towards unlawful immigration and rejecting the notion that the nation is stricken by systemic racism.

Sears had a quick stint in electoral politics 20 years in the past as a one-term delegate within the Common Meeting, representing components of Hampton Roads. Her return to politics after a two-decade absence started when she served as nationwide chairperson for Black People to Re-Elect President Trump.

Sears defeated Democrat Hala Ayala in Tuesday’s election. Ayala additionally would have been the primary feminine lieutenant governor and first girl of coloration to carry statewide workplace if she had received.

Sears will succeed Democrat Justin Fairfax, who unsuccessfully ran for governor. The marquee election Tuesday was the gubernatorial race, which Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin received, defeating former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Early Wednesday, Sears stood along with her household in entrance of cheering supporters at a victory get together in Chantilly, saying, “What you’re looking at is the American Dream.”

For lawyer common, Democrat Mark Herring was searching for a 3rd time period towards Republican Jason Miyares, a delegate from Virginia Seaside. Herring could be the primary lawyer common to win a 3rd time period since World Warfare II. The race was nonetheless too early to name.

Miyares, the son of a Cuban immigrant, additionally declared victory early Wednesday, saying he’s now the primary Latino to be elected statewide in Virginia.

“I can not wait to go to work with Governor Youngkin and Lieutenant Governor Sears for you,” Miyares stated.

Herring had not conceded defeat early Wednesday morning.

Tuesday evening, at a Republican get together attended by each Youngkin and Sears, supporters had been upbeat, singing, waving indicators and beginning to dance. Whereas the watch get together had but to erupt in a victory celebration, there was sufficient quantity and motion to make the ground of the second-floor ballroom shake often.

Democrats, alternatively, cleared out rapidly from a joint get together with statewide candidates after McAuliffe made an look and easily said that votes nonetheless remained to be counted with out claiming victory or conceding defeat.

Jurisdictions all through the state reported excessive turnout, with roughly 3.3 million ballots tallied by 3 a.m. Wednesday. That significantly exceeded the two.6 million ballots forged within the final gubernatorial election in 2017, which itself was a excessive turnout yr. The turnout in 2017 was partly a backlash to Donald Trump’s 2016 election. Democrats swept all three statewide elections in 2017.

Republicans have struggled in Virginia over the previous decade — Democrats have received each statewide election since 2009. However all three Republican candidates this yr are threatening to interrupt that streak.

Each the lawyer common and the lieutenant governor posts have served as launching pads to the governor’s mansion. Half of the previous 10 lieutenant governors in Virginia have gone on to be governor. The earlier 9 elected attorneys common all ran for governor.


Related Press writers Brian Witte in Chantilly, Virginia, and Alexandra Jaffe in McLean, Virginia, contributed to this report.

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