Marine veteran Winsome Sears is expected to win Virginia’s lieutenant governor’s race Tuesday night — becoming the first black woman elected to statewide office in the Old Dominion.
The Republican, who served in the legislature for a single term two decades ago, was set to defeat Democrat Hala Ayala, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Woodbridge.
CNN projected Sears’ victory. She held a two point lead with about 95 percent of precincts reporting.
Sears, 57, will serve with Republican Glenn Youngkin, who upset Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia’s gubernatorial election.
Born in Jamaica, Sears was the first black Republican woman to be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2002.
After her first two-year term, she ran an unsuccessful bid for Congress against Democratic incumbent Rep. Bobby Scott.
Sears is not shy about her support for the Second Amendment.
In a Twitter post from April, she posted a photo of herself bearing arms and firing at a gun range.
“Marines know how to use guns and I won’t ever support a red flag law! The 2nd Amendment says ‘shall not be infringed!’” she captioned her post.