Virginia’s First Woman of Color Lieutenant Governor Takes Her Seat in the Senate

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

Lieutenant Governor of Virginia Winsome Earle Sears has made history as she started her tenure in Virginia Senate. She is dubbed as history-making republican as she is the state’s first woman to serve as lieutenant governor and the first Black woman to hold statewide office. Winsome Earle Sears is a Jamaican-born American.

Winsome Earle-Sears is a former member of the state House. She made a comeback from a nearly 20-year absence from elected office to win the election. Earle-Sears succeeds Justin Fairfax, the previous Lt. Governor, who didn’t demand reelection and instead ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic governorship.

Furthermore, in November, Earle-Sears was part of a GOP victory of Virginia’s top offices. She was welcomed in with Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Attorney General Jason Miyares on Saturday. Democrats will also have a new majority in the House of Delegates, leaving the Senate as their only remaining grip on power in Richmond, where their majority is sharp at 21-19.

Winsome posted a picture of her presiding over Senate on Instagram. She paid tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. She wrote: “We may all have come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” Martin Luther King, Jr. My boat was a Pan Am Boeing 737 as an immigrant at the age of 6, and life was not easy, but here I am. Our children are not victims, they have a God-given spark. We’re going to ensure that it burns brightly, with hope and a future.”

Earle-Sears, a Marine veteran who moved to the United States as a youngster from Jamaica, beat Democrat Hala Ayala last year to become only the second woman to serve in a statewide post in Virginia’s lengthy history. The first was Attorney General Mary Sue Terry, who was chosen in 1985.

She initially ran for elected office in 2001, shocking both parties when she defeated a 10-term Democrat in an extremely blue area to become the first Black Republican female candidate to the Virginia House of Delegates.

Attorney General of Virginia Jason Miyares tweeted: “Congratulations to my friend Winsome Sears on officially presiding over the Senate today. This is a historic day as VA’s first female, a woman of color Lieutenant Governor, Winsome’s story represents the greatness of our country.”