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Winsome Spears becomes first woman of color to become Lieutenant Governor

Election 2021 Virginia Governor
Republican Lt. Gov. candidate Winsome Sears speaks before Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin at an election night party in Chantilly, Va., early Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, after he defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Republican Winsome E. Spears was elected Virginia’s lieutenant governor on Nov. 2. and is the first woman of color to win statewide office in Virginia.

Sears defeated Democrat Hala Ayala in Tuesday’s election.

Sears a businesswoman and Marine Corps. veteran, last held office two decades ago. She returns to politics after serving one term in the House of Delegates from 2002 to 2004 and running unsuccessfully for a U.S. House seat in 2004.

As lieutenant governor, Sears hopes to focus on economy by implementing a small-business tax holiday, cutting what she calls unnecessary regulations by 25% and eliminating the state’s grocery tax, according to her website.

The republican was also the vice president of the Virginia State Board of Education and received presidential appointments to the US Census Bureau.

Sears will succeed Democrat Justin Fairfax, who unsuccessfully ran for governor. Republicans won the governor’s mansion, and the party is also claiming that it has regained control of the House of Delegates.

Republicans have struggled in Virginia over the past decade-Democrats have won every statewide election since 2009.