Del. Elizabeth Guzman of Prince William County has dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.

In an announcement Saturday, Guzman said she will instead focus on her re-election campaign for the 31st District House seat. She faces three opponents in the June 8 Democratic primary for that seat, and the nominee will have a Republican challenger in the November general election.

Guzman decided to withdraw from the race for the state's second highest office after first-quarter campaign finance reports, released Thursday, showed with far less cash than several other candidates in the seven-person race.  She had about $118,000 available to spend, compared with $406,000 for Andria McClellan of Norfolk, $602,000 for Del. Mark Levine of Arlington, and $952,000 for Del. Sam Rasoul of Roanoke.  The statewide primary is also June 8, and early voting begins April 23. 

"It takes money to reach voters, and the limited time we had to fundraise coupled with the fact that I do not have the capacity to self-fund this primary put us at a stark disadvantage," Guzman said in a statement released by her campaign. General Assembly members are not allowed to raise money during the legislative session in January and February. "If my political future were the only thing at stake, I would roll the dice and hope for the best."

Guzman won election to the 31st District seat, representing portions of Prince William and Fauquier counties, in 2017, unseating longtime Republican incumbent  Scott Lingamfelter with 54% of the vote. She won re-election in 2019 over Republican Darrell Jordan with about 53% of the vote.

She is being challenged in the Democratic primary for the seat this year by Rod Hall, Idris O'Connor, and Kara Pitek.  Republican Ben Baldwin has also announced his plan to run for the seat. 

Another Prince William Democrat seeking the lieutenant governor nomination, Del. Hala Ayala, released a statement Saturday praising Guzman. 

“We need more women at the table, and Delegate Guzman’s voice has been an important one throughout this primary," Ayala said. "I know firsthand the challenges and barriers that women of color face when running for office, and I am so grateful for her work to empower diverse leaders across our commonwealth.” 

Like Guzman, Ayala was first elected in 2017, and they were the first Latinas elected to the General Assembly.  Ayala is not running for re-election to her 51st District seat in the House of Delegates. She has about $155,000 on hand for her statewide campaign, according to the latest campaign finance reports.

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(2) comments

Paul Benedict

I disagree on almost everything Del. Guzman has voted for or against. One exception might be, although I can't find record of a vote, is her stated position on farm workers being paid the minimum wage. If we are going to have a minimum wage, farmers should not be exempt from paying it. As a kid, my dad was a farm worker and I clearly remember illegals being willing to do the work for half of what US citizens would, so we lived in poverty. In some cases farmers provide housing, as they did in our family's case, so I suppose that counts for something.

It is hard for me to believe Guzman actually supports some of the crazy things she votes for as they are so antithetical to the beliefs of most Hispanics. But in today's Democratic Party there is zero tolerance to straying from party dogma.

Mike Geffert

Best thing that could happen for PWC is if she would drop out of the delegate race too

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