Editor’s Note: In an impassioned and important speech, the newly elected lieutenant governor of Virginia, Winsome Sears, shared these thoughts with supporters on Tuesday night, Nov. 2, 2021. Notably, she ended her remarks by “thanking you, Jesus. How sweet it is!”
I am at a loss for words for the first time in my life.
I love you, too [responding to chants from the audience].
I’m here because of you. I’m here because you voted for me. I’m here because you put your trust in me. That’s the only reason I’m here. Thank you. Thank you.
I want to introduce to you my husband, Terence. He’s another Marine. My daughter Katia. And my other daughter, Janel.
I’m telling you that what you are looking at is the American dream. The American dream.
When my father came to this country—August 11th of 1963—he came at the height of the civil rights movement from Jamaica. He came, and I said to him, “But it was such a bad time for us. Why did you come?” And he said, “Because America was where the jobs and the opportunities were.”
And he only came with $1.75—one dollar and seventy-five cents—took any job he could find, and he put himself through school and started his American dream. Yes. And now he’s comfortably retired.
And then he came and got me when I was six years old. And when I stepped on that Pan Am Boeing 737 and landed at JFK, I landed in a new world.
And so let me tell you this: I am not even first-generation American. 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.
USA! [Supporters join her in this chant.]
And so I say to you: Victory, indeed! But 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.
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. What we are going to do is we are going to now be about the business of the Commonwealth. 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, Glenn Youngkin, and he’s got a day-long plan that I’m already tired about. Don’t know how we’re going to make it to Day 2, but 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. Because education lifted my father out of poverty, education lifted me out of poverty, education will lift us all out of poverty because we must have marketable skills so that our children cannot just survive, but they will thrive. And they will create generational wealth. That’s what this is about.
I’m going to finish up. We love you, too [responding to the crowd].
It’s an historic night. Yes, it is, but I didn’t run to make history. I just wanted to leave it 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.
Finally, I want to thank my staff because I couldn’t have done it without them. We were a ragtag bunch of people. We ran an impossible, improbable campaign.
God was exactly with us. Otherwise, we never would have made it.
And so, I want to finish up by thanking you, Jesus. How sweet it is!
—By CNJ Staff