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Lt. Gov. nominee Hala Ayala launches bid for Burke’s state Senate district

Virginia Senate District 33 from 2021 redistricting maps (via Supreme Court of Virginia)

After falling short in her 2021 campaign to become Virginia’s new lieutenant governor, Hala Ayala is now looking to occupy a different position in the State Senate.

The former delegate launched a campaign this morning (Wednesday) for the newly created Senate District 33, which encompasses the Burke area of Fairfax County down past Woodbridge in Prince William County.

Ayala said in her announcement that she’s seeking office to counter the Republican Party’s agenda after it took control of all three statewide offices and the House of Delegates in November:

Right now, too many Virginia families are feeling squeezed. That’s a worry I know firsthand as a single mom, and it’s why I ran for elected office in the first place — to fight for families like mine who didn’t have a voice. We made progress, bringing down healthcare costs and making communities safer. But Glenn Youngkin and Republicans in Richmond are ignoring our greatest challenges and trying to take us backward. I’m running for State Senate to get our Commonwealth moving forward once again for families in Prince William and Fairfax Counties.

The 33rd Senate District is one of several Fairfax County districts to be significantly altered by Virginia’s new redistricting maps, which were approved by the state Supreme Court in December.

Currently represented by Sen. Jennifer Boysko, the district previously extended from Herndon and western Chantilly to Leesburg in Loudoun County.

The new 33rd Senate District includes portions of Fairfax County currently represented by Sens. David Marsden and George Barker as well as parts of Prince William County that Ayala previously represented as a delegate.

Citing the 2017 Women’s March as her inspiration, Ayala first won election to the 51st House District seat in 2017 and was reelected in 2019. Her successful legislative efforts included the introduction of same-day voting registration, which is set to take effect this October, and the expansion of a broadband pilot program.

Last year, she outlasted a crowded Democratic primary field to become the first woman of color ever nominated by the party for statewide office but ultimately lost the lieutenant governor seat to Republican Winsome Sears in the Nov. 5 general election by about 50,000 votes.

Ayala says in her campaign announcement that, if elected to the state Senate, she will focus on “bringing down costs, investing in communities, and growing good-paying jobs,” listing education, affordable healthcare, and transportation as priorities.

The Virginia General Assembly’s next elections are in 2023, when all 40 Senate seats and 100 delegate seats will be on the ballot.

Map via Supreme Court of Virginia

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