Lt. Governor candidate Ayala says Democratic priorities are on the line in November election

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 7:25 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - As Hala Ayala crisscrosses the state in a sprint to the finish, the mocha latte at Roanoke’s Sweet Donkey Coffee House has helped fuel her campaign for Lieutenant Governor.

And that’s where we sat down with her as she made the case for four more years of Democratic leadership.

“Medicaid expansion, teacher pay raises, protecting an individual’s right to choose, gun safety reforms, broadband, you know, this has been really exciting,” Ayala told WDBJ7 in an interview. “And everything is on the line this November.”

Ayala has represented Prince William County in the House of Delegates since 2018, and her personal history has informed her priorities as a politician.

“In an instant, my life was turned upside down by a gun,” Ayala said in one of her campaign advertisements. “I was two years old when my father was murdered. So taking on gun violence is personal to me.”

“Losing my father was so devastating to my family,” Ayala said in the interview. “We didn’t know how we were going to put food on the table or keep a roof over our head. Fast forward, I had that same experience when I gave birth to my son, and actually Medicaid saved both of our lives.”

Republicans have criticized Ayala for accepting $100,000 in campaign contributions from Dominion Energy, after saying she wouldn’t take money from the utility.

And they said Ayala’s policies will lead to higher electric bills and taxes, and the end of Virginia’s right-to-work law.

But Ayala said her election promises a steady hand as the state continues to deal with COVID-19, and if necessary, a tie-breaking vote in the state Senate, for Democratic priorities.

“You know COVID again is still at the forefront of our minds, and our health care, and all of these gains are on the line,” Ayala said. “I think it’s crystal clear. Democrats deliver. And we’ll continue to deliver.”

WDBJ7 will profile the campaign of Winsome Sears, the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Thursday.

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