Hala Ayala has been active in Democratic politics for more than a decade, but it wasn’t until after she helped organize a contingent of Virginia women of the Women’s March on Washington that she saw her name on the ballot.
Hala Ayala is a candidate to represent the 51st District in the Virginia House of Delegates in the upcoming election. A single mom, Ayala decided to leave behind a 17-year career in cyber security to run for office. She’s the founder and current president of the Prince William County chapter of the National Organization for Women and serves on Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Council on Women. In January, Ayala helped coordinate Virginia’s Women’s March on Washington.
It’s been six months after the largest national protest in United States history. The Women’s March made big promises. Now, in Virginia, it turns out lots of women are keeping those promises and running for office. During the primary, 51 women—a record number—ran for seats in Virginia’s House of Delegates. Two years ago, 26 women ran.
“Right after, I felt I needed to do more,” said Hala Ayala, a single mother of two and cyber security specialist running for a delegate seat representing an area including Prince William’s County. “At the march you could stare into one another’s eyes and see where they’ve been. It was almost intolerable,” said Ayala, who’s been a volunteer and community organizer but never run for office. Like Ayala, a number of the women running for the first time are minorities.
Hala Ayala, candidate for the 51st District of the House of Delegates, has earned the endorsements of women’s advocacy groups throughout Virginia and beyond, as well as a number of state and local elected officials, including state Sen. Jennifer Wexton and former state Sen. Emilie Miller. “I am honored to have the support of so many champions of Virginia women and working families,” said Hala Ayala. “These elected officials and groups have been instrumental in the effort to fight for positive change and gender equality. I look forward to continuing our work together in Richmond.”
Today, EMILY’s List endorsed Hala Ayala for the 51st District in Virginia’s House of Delegates. Ayala founded and was president of the Prince William County chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW). She served as vice president of Virginia NOW and is a member of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Council on Women.