Lieutenant Governor-elect Winsome Sears to be Virginia’s first woman of color in statewide office

Starting Monday, Sears will oversee Virginia’s Senate

With a new Republican administration coming into office Saturday, Virginia will have its first-ever woman of color as its lieutenant governor.

ROANOKE, Va. – Lieutenant Governor-elect Winsome Sears has been first in a lot of things in her life. And now, she will be Virginia’s first female president of the Senate.

“You are looking at the American dream,” Sears said.

Sears is a former member of the House of Delegates and a proud veteran of the Marine Corp.

She will be the first Black woman to hold statewide office in Virginia’s history.

“I am not even first-generation American, when I joined the Marine Corps, I was still a Jamaican but this country had done so much for me I was willing, willing to die for this country,” Sears said.

But Sears will have a unique role in the Senate this year according to 10 News Political Analyst Dr. Ed Lynch.

While she will oversee the Senate day-to-day, the Democratic party still has the majority.

“She’ll have a say in determining what comes up and when it comes up and how the debate goes. She can participate under certain circumstances. If there’s a tie, she breaks the tie so she’s got certain powers that will be with her in that office,” 10 News Political Analyst Dr. Ed Lynch said.

Lynch says sears will also play an important part in the new Youngkin administration as they work with both legislative bodies to get bills to the governor elect’s desk.

“It’s going to be about negotiating with moderate Democratic senators. It’s going to be about finding a halfway point,” Lynch said.

Sears says she hopes she can inspire others to follow their dreams all across the Commonwealth.

“I didn’t want to make history. I just wanted to leave it better than I found it,” Sears said.

Sears is set to be sworn in Saturday, Jan. 15 at noon.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.