Del. Hala Ayala is running for lieutenant governor. She announced her candidacy Tuesday.
First elected to represent the 51st District in 2017, Ayala is one of the first Latinas to serve in the House of Delegates.
“There’s a whirlwind happening, and in a commonwealth as vast and diverse as ours, we can’t make progress or heal discord without bridging divides — between our communities and our leaders, between our ideals and our realities, and between our past and where we’re going,” Ayala said in a statement. “I’m running for lieutenant governor because I believe my life experiences enable me to be a bridge builder so we can move Virginia forward into a strong, just, and prosperous future. I think that’s what our families want — someone who understands their experiences and can bring people together to make progress in their day-to-day lives.”
Ayala would be the first woman and first woman of color to serve as Lieutenant Governor in Virginia’s 400-year history.
For over 20 years, Ayala has worked in national security as a cyber specialist under the Department of Homeland Security.
Ayala noted her work in the legislature expanding Medicaid for 400,000 Virginians, passing the Equal Rights Amendment and expanding background checks for firearm sales.
Ayala joins other local delegates with an eye for statewide office.
Last month, Del. Elizabeth Guzman, D-31st District, said she is weighing a run for lieutenant governor.
Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, D-2nd District, was the first Democrat to announce her campaign campaign for governor.
The three women were part of the “blue wave” of Democrats defeating Republican incumbents in 2017, and could be leaving three open seats in the House of Delegates that Democrats will have to defend in 2021.