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Top advocacy group endorses Latina for Virginia Lt. Gov.

Top advocacy group endorses Latina for Virginia Lt. Gov.
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A top Hispanic political advocacy group on Wednesday endorsed Democratic State Del. Hala Ayala as Virginia lieutenant governor.

The Latino Victory Fund has previously endorsed Ayala for local legislative office; she has been a member of the Virginia House of Delegates since 2018.

“She has been an effective leader in the House of Delegates, and if elected lieutenant governor, she’ll expand her bold vision for a prosperous Virginia centered on creating opportunities for all,” said Nathalie Rayes, Latino Victory Fund president and CEO.

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“As Virginia grapples with the disparities exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, Delegate Ayala is focusing on priority issues that aim to root out these inequities, such as expanding access to affordable health care and creating an economy that works for all Virginians," added Rayes.

If elected, Ayala would be the first woman and the first Hispanic person to hold the office of lieutenant governor in Virginia.

The current officeholder, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D), is leaving the office to run for governor, competing in a Democratic primary that so far includes five competitors, including former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).

Ayala's primary is also crowded, with an assortment of six state and local legislators and activists competing for the nomination.

Gov. Ralph Northam (D) won't run for reelection in 2021, as Virginia bars its governors from seeking back-to-back terms.

Ayala, whose father was a Salvadoran immigrant and whose mother had Middle Eastern roots, has focused her career in politics on women's rights, health care and cybersecurity.

Before running for office, Ayala was a cybersecurity officer at the Department of Homeland Security for 17 years.