Another political race in the United States promises to make history. This past Tuesday, Virginia’s Afro-Latina state Representative Hala Ayala, won the Democratic Party’s nomination for lieutenant governor, beating five opponents in a costly race for the state’s second-highest office, The Washington Post reported.
Ayala is a cybersecurity specialist and U.S. politician born in Alexandria, Virginia. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix, the candidate began her professional career at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a cybersecurity specialist. The daughter of an immigrant father from El Salvador and an Irish and Lebanese mother, Ayala represents true diversity in the country.
Her first steps in politics were spurred by the documentary Miss Representation, which led her to volunteer on Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
But it was Donald Trump’s arrival in the White House that would mark a turning point in her life. Ayala was an organizer of the Women’s March against Donald Trump in 2017, and that same year she ran for the Virginia House of Delegates for the 51st district, which covers much of Prince William County.
In June 2017, Ayala won the Democratic nomination for Virginia’s 51st House of Delegates district, defeating Ken Boddye in the primary election. In the general election, Ayala defeated four-term Republican incumbent Richard L. Anderson.
Along with Kelly Fowler and Elizabeth Guzman, Hala Ayala was part of the first cohort of Hispanic women elected to the state House.
She is now the Democratic Party’s candidate for lieutenant governor.
“I understand the struggles so many Virginia families face because I’ve lived them,” Ayala said in a statement. “Virginia families simply cannot afford to have an anti-progress, pro-Trump Lieutenant Governor.”
As the Post continued, Ayala’s campaign received support from Filler-Corn, Gov. Ralph Northam (D), and other top Democratic leaders, who boosted her profile in a crowded race.
“In the 400 years of this commonwealth, we’ve never elected a woman of color,” she said during the race’s only debate in May. “We have an opportunity to make history.”