Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, 2021

Seal of Virginia
Seal of Virginia

In the open race to serve as the Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Delegate Hala Ayala (D-VA 51st) faces former Delegate Winsome Sears (R-VA 90th). Incumbent Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax (D) is not seeking reelection.

The office of lieutenant governor is established by the Constitution of Virginia, and the office holder’s primary duty is to serve as the president of the Senate of Virginia. The lieutenant governor may vote in the senate only to break ties. In addition, the lieutenant governor is first in the line of gubernatorial succession and would become governor in the event of the governor’s death, resignation, or removal. Because Virginia governors may only serve one consecutive term, the office of lieutenant governor often serves as a “stepping-stone” toward the governor’s mansion.

Virginia lieutenant governors must be at least thirty years old, citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and have been a resident and registered voter in the commonwealth for five years preceding the date of the election. They are elected to four-year terms and there are no term limits.

The Senate of Virginia is made up of senators elected from forty districts across the commonwealth. The Democratic Party holds a narrow majority with twenty-one seats. The Republican Party holds nineteen seats.

Hala Ayala (D)

Hala Ayala
Hala Ayala

Two-term Delegate Hala Ayala (D-VA 51st) stands as the Democratic Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.

Ayala holds an associate’s degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix, and served over twenty years as a cybersecurity specialist for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She volunteered with President Barack Obama’s (D) 2012 reelection campaign, served as a chapter president for the National Organization for Women (NOW), and helped organize the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, DC.

In 2017, she successfully sought election to represent the fifty-first district in the Virginia House of Delegates. She and Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-VA 31st) were the first Hispanic women elected to the house. She was reelected in 2019.

Ayala says she wants to “bridge divides,” but, if elected, she promises the typical suite of modern, doctrinaire, big-spending Democratic Party policies. She wants more government involvement in health care, more government involvement in the economy (in the name of “inclusivity” and “equity”), and more funding for our dysfunctional schools. She buys-in to a lot of disproved and divisive nonsense about “systemic racism” and “climate change.”

She does promise to work on rebuilding Virginia’s transportation infrastructure, so that’s something. Although she seems far too focused on “public transit” boondoggles rather than on improving our road network.

Ayala is silent on property rights, silent on unethical healthcare mandates, and silent on school choice. We should probably assume that she is on the wrong side of these issues. And on two important issues—the right to life and the right to keep and bear arms—she is dismissive or openly antagonistic toward these essential human rights.

Winsome Sears (R)

Winsome Sears
Winsome Sears

Former Delegate Winsome Sears (R-VA 90th) stands as the Republican Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.

Sears holds an associate’s degree from Tidewater Community College, a bachelor’s degree in English from Old Dominion University, and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Regent University. She is a United States Marine Corps veteran and owner of a small business. She served as a vice president of the Virginia Board of Education and received presidential appointments to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

In 2001, she successfully sought election to represent the ninetieth district in the Virginia House of Delegates. She was the first black Republican woman and the first naturalized citizen elected to the house (she was born in Jamaica).

Sears says that her views are “informed by her service to the Commonwealth and her Country, her faith, and her belief in equal opportunity for all Virginians.” If elected, she promises to support low-tax and pro-business policies, reduce the cost of living, open and “strengthen” our schools, “uplift Black Virginians,” support the police and reduce crime, and support veterans. She provides only a rough outline of how she intends to accomplish these things.

She says nothing about transportation. Her education plan is vague (at best), and while it includes a promise to promote school choice, it also includes promises of more money and no promise of any of the urgently needed reforms. She claims that “Black Virginians are disproportionately failed by our government,” which just isn’t true (our government is failing everybody equally).

And, even more frustratingly, Sears says nothing about the key human rights issues of the day.


It is difficult to get excited about this race. Delegate Hala Ayala (D-VA 51st) is fundamentally wrong about almost everything. Former Delegate Winsome Sears (R-VA 90th) just doesn’t tell us much of anything at all.

We can fill in some gaps with an assumption that Sears will usually stick to the Republican Party line . . . which, if nothing else, at least acknowledges the existence of the fundamental human rights to life, liberty, and property. And it’s clear that Sears is the better candidate for Virginia businesses and for law and order.

I endorse the election of Winsome Sears as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.