Marine Corps veteran and Jamaican immigrant Winsome Sears became Virginia’s first black female Lieutenant Governor on Tuesday — a win Sears called “the American dream.”
“Meet Winsome Sears, Virginia’s new Lieutenant Governor,” podcast host Benny Johnson tweeted, along with photos of Sears. “She is a black woman who immigrated from Jamaica, served in the Marines, has a Masters degree, ran a women’s homeless shelter, raised 3 kids— and now she has made history.”
Earlier this year, Lt. Gov. Sears posted on Twitter photos of herself at a gun range holding and firing a rifle.
“Beautiful day = Range day! Marines know how to use guns and I won’t ever support a red flag law!” Sears tweeted. “The 2nd Amendment says ‘shall not be infringed!’ #SemperFi Always good to see my friends at Clark Brothers Guns.”
“I’m telling you that what you are looking at is the American dream,” Sears said during a speech early Wednesday morning following her historic victory.
Sears told the story of how her father emigrated from Jamaica to the United States with just $1.75 in his pocket in the middle of the civil rights movement. When asked why he came to America during such a volatile time, Sears’ father told her that America was where “the jobs and the opportunities were.”
Sears’s father brought her to the United States at the age of six after he had secured a job and place to live.
“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,” Sears said, as chants of U-S-A erupted from the crowd.
“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 when my father came,” she said. “We can live where we want. We can eat where we want. We own the water fountains. We have had a black president elected not once, but twice, and here I am, living proof.”
“In case you haven’t noticed, I am Black. And I have been Black all my life, but that’s not what this is about,” Sears added.
“What we are going to do now is be about the business of the Commonwealth,” she continued. “We have things to tend to. We are going to fully fund our historically Black colleges and universities. You’re going to hear from your Governor-Elect Glen Youngkin…he’s going to make sure we keep more of our money in our pockets because he’s going to get rid of all kinds of taxes. We’re going to have safer neighborhoods, safer communities, and our children are going to get a good education.”
Sears said education lifted her father out of poverty and it has the power to “lift us all out of poverty.” She went on to acknowledge the historic significance of her win.
“But I didn’t run to make history,” she said, “I just wanted to leave [Virginia] better than I found it. And with your help, we’re going to do that. We’re going to have transparent government.”
“And as I used to say as we were on the trail: hold on Virginia, help is on the way. The cavalry has arrived. Thank you. God bless you,” she continued, adding, “I want to finish up by thanking You, Jesus. How sweet it is!”