Hala Ayala announces bid for newly-configured state Senate seat

FILE – In this Sept. 1, 2021, file photo, Virginia Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Hala Ayala addresses the Virginia FREE Leadership Luncheon in McLean, Va. Alaya will face Republican Winsome Sears in the November election. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

Former Del. Hala Ayala is trying to get back to the General Assembly, setting up a primary showdown with a former colleague.

Ayala announced her campaign for the newly-configured 33rd Senate District on Wednesday.

“Right now, too many Virginia families are feeling squeezed,” she wrote on Facebook. “That’s a worry I know firsthand as a single mom, and it’s why I ran for elected office in the first place — to fight for families like mine who didn’t have a voice.”

All seats in the General Assembly will be available in the 2023 campaign under new districts established by the Virginia Supreme Court.

The 33rd District covers northeastern Prince William County and south-central Fairfax County, including Woodbridge, Occoquan and Lake Ridge.

Ayala, a Democrat, was elected to the House of Delegates from the former Woodbridge-based 51st District in 2017 and re-elected in 2019.

Ayala received more than 1.6 million votes in the 2021 race for lieutenant governor, but fell about 50,000 short to Republican Winsome Sears.

Ayala’s announcement sets up a primary showdown with former Prince William County Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, who announced a campaign for the district in January.

Carroll Foy was first elected as a delegate in the 2nd District, which covered eastern Prince William and part of Stafford County, in 2017. She stepped down in 2021 to seek the Democratic nomination for governor and finished second in the four-way primary behind former Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

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