Virginia Republicans are hoping to ride the coattails of their gubernatorial nominee in down-ballot races Tuesday that include a contest whose winner is guaranteed to make history.
In the lieutenant governor’s race, voters are choosing between two women for a post that has been held by men for the entirety of the state’s history. Democrat Hala Ayala, a delegate from Woodbridge, is facing Republican Winsome Sears, who served in the legislature for a single term two decades ago and is attempting a political comeback. Either would be the first woman of color to be elected to statewide office in Virginia.
The winner will succeed Democrat Justin Fairfax, who unsuccessfully ran for governor. The marquee election Tuesday is the gubernatorial race between former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Republican challenger Glenn Youngkin.
For attorney general, Democrat Mark Herring is seeking a third term against Republican Jason Miyares, a delegate from Virginia Beach. Herring would be the first attorney general to win a third term since World War II.
Republicans have struggled in Virginia over the past decade — Democrats have won every statewide election since 2009. But all three Republican candidates this year are threatening to break that streak.
Both the attorney general and the lieutenant governor posts have served as launching pads to the governor’s mansion. Half of the past 10 lieutenant governors in Virginia have gone on to be governor. The previous nine elected attorneys general all ran for governor.