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Republican Sears becomes first female lieutenant governor

Sears is also first woman of color to hold statewide office in Virginia.

Published: Updated:

Republican Winsome Sears will become the first female lieutenant governor and the first woman of color to hold statewide office in Virginia.

Sears defeated Democrat Hala Ayala in Tuesday’s election.

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Sears rocketed out of political obscurity to win the GOP nomination on the strength of a campaign photo in which she posed holding a military rifle.

A former Marine, she also highlighted her background as a Jamaican immigrant, campaigning against illegal immigration.

Sears had a brief stint in electoral politics nearly 20 years ago as a one-term delegate in the General Assembly, representing parts of Hampton Roads.

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