Winsome Sears: 5 facts about Virginia's first black female lieutenant governor

Virginia Republican candidate for lieutenant governor Winsome Sears takes the stage with her family during an election night rally at the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles on November 02, 2021, in Chantilly, Virginia. Virginians went to the polls Tuesday to vote in the gubernatorial race that pitted Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin against Democratic gubernatorial candidate, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Voters in Virginia decided on Tuesday to elect Republican candidate Winsome Sears to be the next lieutenant governor of the state, making her the first African American female to be elected to the office.

According to the unofficial results posted by the Virginia Department of Elections, with 2,726 of 2,855 precincts reported, Sears won 50.97% of the vote, while Democrat opponent Hala Ayala won 48.93%.

Ayala conceded on Wednesday afternoon, taking to Twitter to congratulate Sears “on making history and paving the way for future women leaders who look like us.”

At a victory speech held early Wednesday morning in Chantilly, Sears told supporters that “the business of the Commonwealth” is the chief item on her agenda moving forward.

“We have things to tend to. We are going to fully fund our historically black colleges and universities. We’re going to have safer neighborhoods, safer communities, and our children are going to get a good education,” declared Sears

Here are five interesting facts about Winsome Sears, which include her immigrant background, her charitable work with the Salvation Army, and an earlier milestone election victory in 2001.

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