Cybersecurity Expert and State Delegate Would Be First Woman of Color Elected Statewide
March 3, 2021
PHILADELPHIA — Today, 314 Action Fund endorsed Hala Ayala in the race to become Virginia’s next lieutenant governor. Hala, who was born and raised in Virginia, would be the first woman of color elected statewide.
For twenty years, Hala served as a cybersecurity specialist at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, using her training to assess and prevent national security threats. Hala undertook this important work while raising her son as a single mother and pursuing college coursework, completing her degree in 2013.
Hala has been a reliable champion of women’s rights, serving on the McAuliffe Council of Women and helping to organize the inaugural Women’s March in Washington D.C. in 2017. That same year, Hala was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, unseating a four-term Republican in the process.
314 Action Fund’s endorsement is the organization’s next step in its commitment to building a more progressive Virginia. In the 2020 campaign cycle, 314 Action Fund’s independent expenditure program invested nearly $3 million in support of Dr. Cameron Webb, then-candidate for Virginia’s fifth congressional district. 314 Action Fund raised nearly $200,000 in grassroots donations for Dr. Webb’s campaign—including 11,855 donations of $150 or less—and donated $10,000 in direct contributions.
“I am so honored to be endorsed by 314 Action Fund. Their work on behalf of STEM candidates has changed the face of politics, especially in Virginia,” said State Del. Hala Ayala, candidate for Virginia lieutenant governor. “Technology plays such a crucial role in policy making and governing. As a cyber security expert, I am uniquely suited to take on the challenges our state faces, and I am proud to have 314 by my side in this fight.”
“From passing her bill to expand broadband access to successfully working to expand Medicaid for 400,000 Virginians, Hala Ayala has proven herself a tenacious advocate for policymaking rooted in science,” said Shaughnessy Naughton, President of 314 Action. “Hala will continue to fight for the people of Virginia as the state’s lieutenant governor, promoting facts and evidence-based solutions to the most pressing issues facing Virginians.”
314 Action Fund is powered by a grassroots community of over five million people working to elect scientists, doctors, and STEM professionals who will use science and facts to address our most pressing issues like climate change and health care. In 2018 and 2020, we played a pivotal role in flipping the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, electing eleven Democratic scientists to federal office, as well as over 100 to key legislative districts. In 2021 and 2022, 314 Action Fund will continue working to elect science leaders and defeat climate deniers in Congress and legislatures across the country.