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by Brandon Jarvis

Democratic lieutenant governor nominee Hala Ayala is launching her first TV ad of the general election campaign. Ayala is facing Republican nominee Winsome Sears for the number two spot in the Executive Branch. 

The ad was filmed in a gas station like the one where Ayala used to work according to her campaign. “Night shifts. Minimum wage. Pregnant, with no health care,” Ayala says in the ad. “But with a little help and a lot of hard work, I built a career and a middle class life.” 

Polling in the race has been very limited but a recent poll from Monmouth University showed Ayala with just a one-point leader over Sears. In general, Republicans have not won statewide since 2009 and they are hoping to turn that tide this year with Donald Trump no longer in office. Additionally, Republicans are really hoping that they will be able to drive turnout in opposition to the last two years of total Democratic control in the state government.

Ayala referred to this upcoming election as a crossroads for Virginia. “Our Commonwealth is at a crossroads, and who we elect as our future leaders this November will say everything about who we are and what we stand for,” she said in a statement Tuesday morning. “Health care, reproductive rights, public schools, gun safety reform, workers’ rights, and more are on the ballot. As the only candidate in the race for lieutenant governor with the lived and legislative leadership necessary to advance Virginia’s priorities, I’ve known struggle and I’ve known success. That’s why I’ve fought so hard for everyday Virginians in the House of Delegates.”

Also on the ballot this November is the governor, attorney general, and all 100 House of Delegate seats. Early voting begins in less than two weeks on Sept. 17. “When it comes to choice, our Virginia Senate is tied, and it’s never been more essential to have a pro-choice Democrat as our Lieutenant Governor,” she tweeted, referencing the main role of the lieutenant governor as breaking ties in the state Senate. “I will always vote to protect your right to make decisions about your body. Unfortunately, my opponent can’t say the same.”

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By vascope