Winsome Sears delivered a patriotic speech as she claimed victory in her race to become the first woman and woman of color to be elected Virginia's lieutenant governor.
"I'm telling you that what you are looking at is the American dream," Sears said during her victory speech.
Sears, a Marine Corps veteran, claimed victory in a speech early Wednesday morning and was met by a crowd chanting, "Winsome! Winsome! Winsome!"
"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 during her victory speech early Wednesday morning.
She then led the boisterous crowd in a "USA" chant.
"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," she continued.
"What we are going to do now is be about the business of the Commonwealth," she said. "We have things to tend to. We are going to fully fund our historically Black colleges and universities. We’re going to have safer neighborhoods, safer communities, and our children are going to get a good education."
Sears' Democratic opponent, State Del. Hala Ayala, has not conceded.
Sears immigrated to the United States from Jamaica as a child, and was the director of a Salvation Army homeless shelter prior to entering politics. She also owns an appliance and plumbing repair store in Virginia, and previously served as vice president of the Virginia Board of Education.
She served a single term in Virginia’s House of Delegates from 2002 to 2004, and her 2021 run marks her return to politics.
She described her projected win to "Fox & Friends" as a "God thing" on Wednesday morning, saying she had a "ragtag staff you know, very little money, outspent. Outgunned, if you will."
"I'm trying to find the words because I'm still processing it," Sears added.
Conservatives and supporters celebrated her expected win on social media, with many sharing a viral photo of her holding an AR-15 rifle while at a shooting range earlier this year.
Virginia also elected Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin as governor on Tuesday, in an election that was previously expected to swing in favor of Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
"My fellow Virginians," he said at his victory speech. "We stand here this morning at this defining moment, a defining moment that, yes, started with two people on a walk. And a defining moment that is now millions of Virginians walking together. Walking together, sharing dreams and hopes just like the ones that have always been planted on my own heart."