Winsome Sears

Winsome Sears
Winsome Sears in November 2021.jpg
Sears in November 2021
Lieutenant Governor-elect of Virginia
Assuming office
January 15, 2022
GovernorGlenn Youngkin (elect)
SucceedingJustin Fairfax
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 90th district
In office
January 13, 2002 – January 14, 2004
Preceded byBilly Robinson
Succeeded byAlgie Howell
Personal details
Winsome Earle

(1964-03-11) March 11, 1964 (age 57)
Kingston, Jamaica
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Terence Sears
EducationTidewater Community College (AA)
Old Dominion University (BA)
Regent University (MA)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Marine Corps
Years of service1983–1986

Winsome Earle Sears (born March 11, 1964) is an American politician and businesswoman who is the lieutenant governor-elect of Virginia. She is a member of the Republican Party. Sears served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2002 to 2004. She lost a write-in bid in Virginia for the U.S. Senate in 2018. In the 2021 election in Virginia, she won the race for lieutenant governor, becoming the first woman and first person of Jamaican origin to be elected statewide.[1]

Early life and education

Sears was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and immigrated to the United States at the age of six. Her father arrived with just $1.75 and took any job he could find while also continuing his education.[2] She grew up in the Bronx, New York City.[3] She served as an electrician in the United States Marines.[4] Sears earned an A.A. from Tidewater Community College, a B.A. in English with a minor in economics from Old Dominion University and an M.A. in organizational leadership from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. [5]


Before running for public office, Sears ran a homeless shelter.[6]

In November 2001, Sears upset 20-year Democratic incumbent Billy Robinson while running for the 90th district seat in Virginia's House of Delegates,[7][8] becoming the first Jamaican female Republican,[9] first female veteran, and first naturalized citizen delegate, to serve in the body.[10]

In 2004, Sears unsuccessfully challenged Democrat Bobby Scott for Virginia's 3rd congressional district seat.[11] She received 31% of the vote.[4]

She subsequently became vice president of the Virginia Board of Education and received presidential appointments to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Census Bureau.[12]

In September 2018, Sears entered the race for U.S. Senate as a write-in candidate.[13] She received less than 1% of the vote.[14]

2021 lieutenant gubernatorial election

On May 11, 2021, Sears won the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Virginia on the fifth ballot, defeating second-place finisher Tim Hugo 54% to 46%.[15]

On November 2, 2021, she won the race on a ticket with gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, becoming the first black woman elected to a statewide office in Virginia.[16] In her victory speech she said, "When I joined the Marine Corps, I was still a Jamaican. But this country had done so much for me, I was willing, willing, to die for this country.” [17] She is expected to be inaugurated as the 42nd lieutenant governor of Virginia on January 15, 2022.

Personal life

Sears is married to a Marine Corps veteran with two surviving daughters.[18] She took leave of politics after 2004 to care for a daughter with bipolar disorder, who died in a 2012 car crash along with Sears' two young granddaughters.[18][19] She and her family live in Winchester, Virginia.[20]

Sears owns an appliance and plumbing repair store in Virginia.[18]

Electoral history

Date Election Candidate Party Votes %
Virginia House of Delegates, 90th district
November 6, 2001[7] General Winsome Sears Republican 6,696 53%
William "Billy" Robinson Jr. (incumbent) Democratic 6,017 47%
Write Ins 4 0%
Republican defeated Democratic incumbent
Virginia 3rd congressional district
November 2, 2004[11] General Bobby Scott (incumbent) Democratic 159,373 69%
Winsome Sears Republican 70,194 31%
Write Ins 325 0%
Democratic incumbent held seat


  1. ^ CNN, Chandelis Duster. "Winsome Sears will become Virginia lieutenant governor, CNN projects, becoming first female and woman of color in the office". CNN. Retrieved November 3, 2021.
  2. ^ Graf, Heather (October 26, 2021). "Lieutenant governor race in Virginia: Meet Republican candidate Winsome Sears". WJLA. Retrieved November 3, 2021.
  3. ^ McLeod, Sheri-Kae (May 24, 2021). "Jamaican-born Winsome Earle Sears Wins Republican Party Nod for Lieutenant Gov".
  4. ^ a b Caine, Andrew. "Winsome Sears launches GOP bid for lieutenant governor". Richmond Times-Dispatch.
  5. ^ "Biography of Winsome Sears". Vote Smart. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  6. ^ Carroll, Fred (September 21, 2004). "Sears, Scott Square off in Debate". Daily Press. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "General Election – November 6, 2001". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
  8. ^ "With victory, Sears broke down barriers". The Washington Times. November 23, 2001.
  9. ^ "Del. Sears visits Old Dominion class Tuesday". News at Old Dominion University. November 22, 2002. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
  10. ^ Lewis, Bob (December 15, 2001). "Black GOP Woman Stuns Va. Politics". Norfolk, Va.: Associated Press. Archived from the original on March 9, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  11. ^ a b "General Election – November 2, 2004". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  12. ^ Picket, Kerry (June 10, 2021). "The return of Winsome Sears".
  13. ^ Wilson, Patrick (September 18, 2018). "Former GOP state delegate wants Republicans to write in her name for U.S. Senate instead of voting for Corey Stewart". Roanoke Times.
  14. ^ "Official 2018 November General Election Results, Virginia". Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  15. ^ Olivo, Antonio (May 11, 2021). "Winsome Sears, former state delegate, Wins GOP nomination for Virginia lieutenant Governor". Washington Post.
  16. ^ Panetta, Grace; Seddiq, Oma (November 2, 2021). "Republican Winsome Sears defeats Hala Ayala in Virginia lieutenant governor's race". Business Insider. Retrieved November 3, 2021.
  17. ^ Colton, Emma (November 3, 2021). "Winsome Sears says she would die for America, starts 'USA' chant during victory speech: 'American dream'". Fox News. Retrieved November 3, 2021.
  18. ^ a b c Freeman, James (November 3, 2021). "Leading Like a Marine in Virginia". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  19. ^ Clayton, Cindy. "Ex-local delegate loses three relatives in fatal wreck". Pilot Online. The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  20. ^ "Sterling Women of Winchester: Past Events". Retrieved August 30, 2016.

External links

Virginia House of Delegates
Preceded by Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 90th district

Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
Taking office 2022


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