For Immediate Release
April 29, 2021
EMILYs List Endorses Hala Ayala in Virginia Lieutenant Governor Race
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, endorsed Hala Ayala in the race for lieutenant governor of Virginia. Emily Cain, executive director of EMILYs List, released the following statement:
“The daughter of an immigrant, a single mom, and a dedicated Virginian invested in the wellbeing of her community, EMILYs List is confident Hala Ayala is the right person to advocate for Virginia families as lieutenant governor. After becoming the first Afro-Latina to be elected to the Virginia House, Hala led the way to expanding Medicaid — which she attributes to saving her son’s life — for 400,000 Virginians. She has also worked tirelessly to protect reproductive freedom, raise teacher pay, and expand gun safety measures. As a dedicated fighter for women’s rights with nearly a decade of experience advocating for equality, Hala founded the Prince William County chapter of the National Organization for Women, helped organize Virginia’s involvement in the Women’s March, and served as chief co-patron on the bill that made Virginia the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Hala is a champion for women and families and the EMILYs List community is proud to endorse her run to become the first woman lieutenant governor of Virginia.”
Hala Ayala currently represents the 51st district in the Virginia House of Delegates. Growing up, Hala’s family struggled to make ends meet. When she was pregnant and in a job that didn’t offer health insurance, she qualified for Medicaid which provided health care for her and her son. Hala went on to build a career as a single working mom and spent over 20 years as a cybersecurity specialist with the Department of Homeland Security, where she worked to protect our nation’s information systems and prevent attacks on our national security. In 2013, Hala completed her college degree online while working full time. In 2017, she ran for Virginia’s 51st House District and won against a four-term Republican incumbent, making her a key part of the new Democratic majority.
EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $700 million to elect Democratic pro-choice women candidates. With a grassroots community of over five million members, EMILY's List helps Democratic women win competitive campaigns – across the country and up and down the ballot – by recruiting and training candidates, supporting and helping build strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, running nearly $50 million in independent expenditures in the last cycle alone, and turning out women voters and voters of color to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect the country's first woman as vice president, 157 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 16 governors, and more than 1,300 women to state and local office. More than 40 percent of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. After the 2016 election, more than 60,000 women reached out to EMILY's List about running for office laying the groundwork for the next decade of candidates for local, state, and national offices. In our effort to elect more women in offices across the country, we have created our Run to Win program, expanded our training program, including a Training Center online, and trained thousands of women.