Winsome Sears just became the first Black woman elected to Lt. Governor of Virginia. Her victory is significant as she is the first woman and the first woman of color in the office in the commonwealth's 400-year legislative history. It was indeed a great moment for Republicans as Glenn Youngkin has also been elected as Virginia's next governor in a major blow for Democrats heading into the midterms.
Sears defeated Democrat Hala Ayala, who is an Afro-Latina, making it to the no. 2 spot in Virginia's state government. The post is considered a critical political steppingstone, with five of the last 10 lieutenant governors later becoming governor of Virginia.
Highest-Ranking Woman of Color in State History
"I'm telling you that what you are looking at is the American dream," Sears said during her victory speech.
"In case you haven't noticed, I am Black and I have been Black all my life, but that's not what this is about," she said. "Education will lift us all out of poverty because we must have marketable skills so that our children cannot just survive, but they want to create generational wealth. That's what this is about, " Sears added.
Who is Winsome Sears?
Sears is an American politician who immigrated from Jamaica. She grew up in the Bronx, New York City and earned an M.A. in organizational leadership from Regent University. She served in the Marines and ran a homeless women's shelter before joining politics.
Sears previously served a single term in Virginia's House of Delegates from 2002 to 2004 after defeating longtime incumbent Billy Robinson Jr.
Sears was the first Black Republican, the first female military veteran and the first naturalized citizen to serve in the House of Delegates, reported Fox News. She entered the race for U.S. Senate as a Republican write-in alternative to Corey Stewart in 2018.
Sears has labeled critical race theory as racist but believes that the good and the bad of American history should be taught in the class, reported WJLA-TV. Sears has promised to protect gun rights and opposes red flag laws.
What Happened When Someone Superimposed Sears's Face onto Pornographic Photo?
During her first campaign for office, someone superimposed her face onto a pornographic photo, reported The Associated Press.
"I looked good!" she joked to a crowd.
According to her, the story is emblematic of the obstacles she faced as a Black Republican who was looking forward to work in an establishment that expects Blacks to vote Democratic.
While addressing a crowd in rural Chesterfield County in October, she said, "The other side wants to use the problems of the past to define us and we shouldn't let them." She continued, "It is time for them to find another victim. ... Yes, we know that there are problems, but we can fix them."