by Brandon Jarvis

Richmond, Va – Delegate Elizabeth Guzmán (D) has made it official by filing the paperwork to run for lieutenant governor in 2021. This comes after months of an exploration of a potential run by the Delegate from Prince William County in Northern Virginia.

Guzmán is originally from Peru and immigrated here as a single mother with her oldest daughter. She attended school while living in Northern Virginia earning two master’s degrees and she has worked in human services for 17 years.

Guzman wants to bring a progressive voice to the Senate, she says in her campaign announcement. “I’m running for lieutenant governor because the Senate needs a progressive voice,” said Guzmán, who would be the first woman and first Latinx person to serve in the position. “I came to this country as a 25-year-old single mother with $300 to my name, and I had to work three minimum wage jobs with no health care and no paid sick days just to afford a one-bedroom apartment.”

Guzmán was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2017 when a blue wave overtook the Commonwealth in response to Donald Trump winning the presidential election the year before. She was reelected in 2019 receiving 52% of the vote in her district even though she outraised her opponent by nearly double.

Guzmán made paid sick leave a priority during the recent General Assembly special session that was called by Governor Northam to address COVID-19 concerns. “My struggle is not unique to immigrants, and millions of Virginia families are living paycheck to paycheck, just barely getting by,” said Guzman. “Over a million people alone do not have any paid sick leave. The pandemic has only made things worse, especially for our frontline workers and communities of color.”

Her efforts to champion the legislation ultimately failed when the bill was killed in the Senate.

Guzmán was the co-chair of Bernie Sanders’ campaign in Virginia and now serves on Joe Biden’s National Latino Leadership Council. According to her campaign, the Delegate’s current focus is on helping Biden and Kamala Harris defeat Donald Trump – so they plan to hold a formal campaign launch in November.

Several names are being mentioned and speculated as possible candidates for the Democratic nomination for this race – but the only other competitive opponent to declare so far is Delegate Hala Ayala, who also serves Prince William County in the House. Both Guzmán and Ayala were first elected to the House of Delegates the same year.

Republicans are also expecting a large field with Delegate Tim Hugo of Fairfax and Delegate Glenn Davis of Virginia Beach leading the pack so far.

 “I see the role of lieutenant governor as a promotion for a successful legislator,” said Guzmán. “I will make my case to voters that I have earned that promotion.”

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By vascope