Republican Winsome Earle-Sears has taken her seat for the first day presiding over the Virginia Senate as the state’s first woman to serve as lieutenant governor and the first Black woman to hold statewide office. Earle-Sears is a former member of the state House who last year returned from a nearly 20-year absence from elected office to win election. She is a Marine veteran who immigrated to the United States from Jamaica as a child and only the second woman in Virginia’s long history to serve in a statewide office. Her role will also involve casting tie-breaking votes in the chamber narrowly controlled by Democrats.