On Tuesday, November 2, voters in the Commonwealth of Virginia elected Winsome Sears to the position of lieutenant governor. She will be the first African American woman to hold the office in the 400-year history of the Commonwealth.
Sears is a native of Kingston, Jamaica, and immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 6. She served as a U.S. Marine and earned an associate’s degree at Tidewater Community College in Virginia. She went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where she majored in English and minored in economics. She holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Regents Univerity in Virginia Beach.
In 2001, Sears became the first Black Republican woman and the first woman veteran to be elected to the Virginia General Assembly. Sears ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2004. She is the former vice president of the Virginia Board of Education.