Amid the sea of signs and rose-colored hats at the New Jersey Women’s March in Morristown, Mikie Sherrill, there with her daughter, is one of the latest women to throw her hat into the political ring. She’s a Democrat running for New Jersey’s 11th District Congressional seat. “Right now we are taking on a fight for the very soul of this country,” Sherrill told ABC News. “We’re taking on a fight to protect our values to protect what we think America stands for and we can do this together.”
The title wave of Democrats who won in Virginia's November election take office tomorrow, and they include a dozen women. And the biggest change for Virginia's General Assembly is coming from Prince William County. There are eight delegates who represent Prince William County. Half of them, all Republicans, lost in November to women Democrats.
(Originally published on the Washington Post) Hala Ayala, a Democrat vying to represent Prince William County in the state legislature, heard the usual gripes when she approached Susan Frederick outside the voter’s tidy suburban townhouse: low teacher pay, congested commutes to federal jobs. Then their chat turned intense.
(Originally published on Inside NOVA) For Democrat Hala Ayala, Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act don’t just make her angry — they break her heart. In her bid to unseat Del. Rich Anderson, R-51st District, she has often spoken about her time relying on Medicaid. Now the renewed push in Congress to roll back former President Barack Obama’s healthcare law has her urging lawmakers to listen to the stories of people who rely on the program. Though she’s now in a position to run for political office in Prince William, Ayala vividly remembers being 24-years-old, working at a gas station along Old Bridge Road, when she discovered her unborn son was facing serious health problems. Her baby was facing “life-threatening” breathing problems, not to mention diabetes and acid reflux disease, but she didn’t have any health insurance through her job. “Thank God we were covered under Medicaid,” Ayala said in a Sept. 19 interview. “Otherwise, he might not be here today.”
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.