UPDATE 3:31 pm – Here’s video of Gov. Northam’s endorsement of Ayala for LG. Speakers included Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, who said he stands with Ayala “not because of her identity, but because she’s the best person for the job”; Del. Ayala, who said her life experiences gives her the skills to “build those bridges we need to be building…and to continue the transformation accomplishments” (of the past couple years under Virginia Democratic leadership); Majority Leader Charniele Herring, who said that Ayala’s “life experiences and work embodies the progressive spirit” and said “she is the *new* Virginia Way”; Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, who said that it’s a “historic day,” with the endorsements for Hala Ayala, who will be the “first woman of color to hold statewide office in the Commonwealth of Virginia” and called Ayala a “champion for issues that impact that impact the lives of Virginians”; and Gov. Ralph Northam, who said he’s “not endorsing her because she’s a woman of color…[but] because she’s a proven leader who happens to be a woman.”
See below for a press release from Del. Hala Ayala’s Lt. Governor campaign, about important albeit not surprising news (I’ve been hearing this for a couple weeks, had it definitely confirmed over the weekend). I’d argue that in a crowded field, in which the vast majority of voters know very little about the Democratic Lt. Governor candidates (most are at 1% or 2% in the polls), big endorsements like these – by Gov. Ralph Northam, Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn and House Majority Leader Charniele Herring – could make a big difference in the race. Also note that there’s no Ranked Choice Voting, which means that to win this race, a candidate only needs a plurality, and that with six candidates, that could be a slow as 17%-20% or so…
Governor Ralph Northam, Speaker of the House of Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn, and House Majority Leader Charniele Herring Endorse Delegate Hala Ayala for Lieutenant Governor
Democratic Leaders Will Speak at Richmond Press Conference Today to Highlight Del. Ayala’s Leadership on Democratic Majority’s Transformational Progress and History-Making Campaign
WOODBRIDGE, VA — Delegate Hala Ayala’s campaign for Virginia Lieutenant Governor today announced the endorsement of Governor Ralph Northam, Speaker of the House of Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn, and House Majority Leader Charniele Herring. These Democratic leaders will join Ayala at a press conference today at 3:00 p.m. at the Virginia Women’s Monument in Richmond, which will be streamed on Facebook Live.
Ayala — the first Afro-Latina elected to the General Assembly — serves in leadership of the House Democratic majority as Chief Deputy Whip, where she has helped usher in transformational progress for Virginia, including expanding Medicaid, passing historic criminal justice reforms, and raising teacher pay. She would make history as the first woman elected Lieutenant Governor and the first woman of color elected statewide in Virginia history.
“During my time as Governor, we have made extraordinary progress in our Commonwealth, from expanding Medicaid for 500,000 Virginians to passing critical criminal justice reforms,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “We need to continue building on that progress, and that’s why I am so excited to endorse Delegate Hala Ayala for Lieutenant Governor. Her leadership in the House Democratic majority has been central to these and so many other historic pieces of legislation that are improving the lives of Virginia families. I’ve seen firsthand her indispensable ability to bring people together to make progress, and I know Hala will continue the good work we’ve accomplished to move Virginia forward.”
“During her time in the House, Delegate Ayala has been a tireless advocate for Virginians of every background, and as a member of our Democratic Majority she helped lead the fight to enact long overdue criminal justice reforms, raise the minimum wage, and legalize marijuana,” said Speaker Filler-Corn. “Her leadership on these issues and commitment to serving every single member of our Commonwealth is why I am endorsing her campaign for Lt. Governor. If elected, Hala would be the first woman of color to serve in statewide office and first woman to serve as Lt. Governor, bringing historic representation to the highest levels of our state government. I could not be prouder to stand with Delegate Ayala during this campaign and look forward to working with her to build on our incredible progress in the years ahead.”
“I am so proud to support my friend and colleague Delegate Hala Ayala for Lieutenant Governor,” said Leader Herring. “I have known Hala for many years and I have watched her grow into a remarkable leader and advocate for justice. In the House of Delegates, Hala has been a central part of some of the biggest legislative wins our Democratic Majority has achieved. That is why I chose her to be Chief Deputy Whip, and she has served our caucus well. This year we were able to abolish the death penalty, legalize marijuana and pass many more progressive policies that help Virginians. I know Delegate Ayala will continue this work as Lieutenant Governor and I hope you will join me in supporting her.”
“I am so honored and humbled to be endorsed by Virginia’s most accomplished Democratic leaders,” said Delegate Hala Ayala. “Governor Northam’s leadership has transformed our Commonwealth, and because of him, we have made progress that has bettered the lives of millions of Virginians. His lasting legacy will be that of justice and equity. Together with Speaker Filler-Corn and Majority Leader Herring — two women who have been remarkable leaders and friends — we have all worked side-by-side to make progress on so many important issues. As Lieutenant Governor, I will build on these accomplishments to ensure a strong future for every Commonwealth family.”
Virginia’s top Democratic leaders join a strong coalition of more than 50 organizations, elected officials, and community leaders from across Virginia in supporting Ayala’s bid for Lieutenant Governor, including former Congressman Jim Moran, State Senator Lionell Spruill, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, House Majority Whip Alfonso Lopez, House Majority Co-Whip Mike Mullin, Appropriations Committee Chair Luke Torian, Transportation Committee Chair Delores McQuinn, Delegates Danica Roem, Josh Cole, Dawn Adams, Clinton Jenkins, and Kathleen Murphy, and Higher Heights for America, which is dedicated to electing more Black women. Read Hala’s full list of endorsers here…
Delegate Hala Ayala is running for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia with a vision for a strong, just, and prosperous future for the Commonwealth. Ayala, who would be the first woman and first Afro-Latina to hold the position, embodies the bridge between Virginia’s past and its future, as well as the bridge between struggle and success that many Virginia families face. Learn more at HalaForVirginia.com.
Paid for by Hala for Virginia