A trifecta of powerful Virginia Democrats on Monday threw their support behind Del. Hala Ayala of Prince William for lieutenant governor in the party’s June 8 primary, backing a candidate who would become the first Latina to hold the office but whose fundraising has struggled to match that of prominent rivals.

Gov. Ralph Northam, House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn and House Majority Leader Charniele Herring endorsed Ayala, describing her campaign as “historic,” and touting her work to secure support for criminal justice reform and Medicaid expansion as a whip for the House Democratic caucus.

“Her leadership in the House Democratic majority has been central to these and so many other historic pieces of legislation that are improving the lives of Virginia families. I’ve seen firsthand her indispensable ability to bring people together to make progress,” Northam said in a statement.

Herring said Ayala “has been a central part of some of the biggest legislative wins of our Democratic majority.”

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