Regent University Alumna Makes History as First Female Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
Lt. Gov.-Elect for Virginia, Former Member of Virginia House of Delegates (90th District), Marine Corps Veteran, Successful Business Owner
In the wee hours of November 3, a Regent University School of Business & Leadership (SBL) alumna made history. It was an event so big that tomorrow’s children will read about it in their social studies books.
Winsome Sears, (M.A. in Organizational Leadership, ’03), prevailed in Virginia’s race for lieutenant governor, making her the first woman in the commonwealth’s 400-year legislative history to win this governorship.
Lt. Governor-elect Sears’ response was humble and reflective of the type of servant leaders Regent University develops: “It’s a historic night—yes, it is—but I didn’t run to make history. I just wanted to leave it better than I found it.”
Celebration & Reflection
Alongside Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, Sears celebrated her victory at an election night watch party held in Chantilly, Virginia. Together, this remarkable GOP duo was heavily covered by the national media; and many called the win a referendum on the Biden administration.
As Sears took the stage to speak and thank her supporters, her presence was electric. “I’m here because of you. I’m here because you voted for me. I’m here because you put your trust in me. That’s the only reason I’m here. Thank you.”
The U.S. Marine Corps veteran addressed race as a great divide in party politics. This issue, along with liberal rhetoric about racism and critical race theory, were hot topics Sears was bombarded with on the campaign trail—ideologies she adamantly opposes.
“I say to you, there are some who want to divide us, and we must not let that happen.”
“I say to you, there are some who want to divide us, and we must not let that happen. They would like us to believe we are back in 1963,” explained Sears. “We are not back in 1963 when my father arrived [to America] at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, and things were very bad for us black people.”
Sears, born in Jamaica, said she’s living proof of the American dream. She noted important milestones, such as a two-term elected black president, to support her belief the achievable is possible for all. “In case you haven’t noticed, I’m black and have been black all my life. But that’s not what this is about. What we are going to do is we are going to now be about the business of the commonwealth.”
Sears spoke about her love of country. She was a Jamaican immigrant when she joined the Marines and pledged her allegiance to support and defend the U.S. Constitution against all foreign and domestic enemies. She expressed how much America had done for her and how she “was willing to die for this country.”
Vision for the Future
Virginians can expect a “transparent government” under her leadership with “safer neighborhoods, safer communities,” vowed Sears. “And as I used to say as when were on the trail: Hold on, help is on the way! The cavalry has arrived!”
“Education will lift us all out of poverty … “
Education was at the forefront of this election. With government mandates impacting schools and school board members pushing political agendas, concerned parents and citizens across the Commonwealth exercised their power at the polls, giving Sears a 50,000-vote lead. Sears assured voters, “Our children are going to get a good education.”
Sears shared how education brought her out of impoverishment and believes it’s the foundation to building a better future. “Education will lift us all out of poverty because we must have marketable skills so that our children cannot just survive, but they will thrive, and then recreate generational wealth,” she said. “That’s what this is about.”
You Win Some—Winsome Credits God
In 2001, Sears ran against Democrat incumbent Billy Robinson, winning the 90th district seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, becoming the first and only black Republican woman elected to the House, the first female veteran and the first legal immigrant woman.
In 2004, she challenged Democrat Bobby Scott for Virginia’s 3rd congressional district but was unable to unseat him. However, Sears didn’t let that loss stop her impact or her leadership achievements.
Sears kept busy and continued to serve. She was a hard-charging vice president of the Virginia State Board of Education. She also received presidential appointments to the U.S. Census Bureau and the advisory committee on Women Veterans to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Additionally, she built a successful business as a trained electrician and is most proud of her work leading a men’s prison ministry and serving as director of a women’s shelter for The Salvation Army.
“God was exactly with us.”
Fast forward to her most recent victory as Lt. Gov.-elect. Amid the election night hoopla, Sears reminded supporters of the “impossible, improbable campaign” they ran, giving God credit for her historic win. “God was exactly with us. Otherwise, we would never have made it,” proclaimed Sears. “And so, I want to finish up by thanking you, Jesus. How sweet it is!”