Senator Hashmi of Virginia seeks party’s support in run for Lieutenant Governor

Ghazala Hashmi, Virginia Senator, and her husband Azhar. PHOTO @GhazalaForVirginia

The first Indian American, as well as the first Muslim to serve in the Virginia Senate has decided to run for Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth. Ghazala Hashmi announced she is planning to make history again, rallying her supporters to join her, in her first campaign fundraising email blast. She is seeking the Democrat Party’s endorsement for the 2025 elections for that office. The current Lieutenant Governor of Virginia is Republican Winsome Sears who was eleted in 2021. The next election falls on Nov. 4, 2025, as Virginia holds off-year elections for this position.

Hashmi who said her decision to go from being an educator to  politics and public service came after former President Donald Trump came into office. from being an educator was I never thought I’d run for office. She launched her campaign for office in 2019, “to give voice to the voiceless. We were the underdogs. We faced a Republican playbook straight out of the MAGA movement. But we made history and flipped that seat from red to blue because we ran a community-centered campaign.” She won with more than 54 percent of the vote over Republican Glen Sturtevant’s 45.8 percent.

That upset victory over a Republican incumbent in her District 15 Senate race, showed her political prowess as an organizer and coalition builder. And it gave the Democrats a one-seat majority in the Senate and ensured a Democratic trifecta for the next two years.  In her 2023 re-election to the State Senate, Hashmi secured a hefty 62.2 percent over her Republican opponent.

In 2024, Democrats in the Senate named her Chair of the Senate Education and Health Committee. Though her current term ends on January 12, 2028, Hashmi has declared her intentions early.

Now she hopes to become the Lieutenant Governor by standing on her legislative record of inclusive values and social justice, she adds. Her legislative priorities include “public education, voting rights and the preservation of democracy, reproductive freedom, gun violence prevention, the environment, housing, and affordable healthcare access,” she says.

Hashmi is pitted against a few Democratic colleagues also running for Lt. Governor. They include Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, fellow Senator Aaron Rouse, and as yet undeclared Chairman of the prince William County School Board Babur Lateef,f according to the news outlet

Hyderabad-born Hashmi came to the US from India as a four-year old with her mother and older brother, to join her father in Georgia just as he was completing his PhD in international relations and beginning his university teaching career.

Ghazala grew up in that small college town, at a time when public schools were being desegregated, she notes in her profile on the campaign website

After graduating as valedictorian of her high school class and receiving multiple full scholarships and fellowships, Hashmi earned a BA with honors from Georgia Southern University and her PhD in American literature from Emory University in Atlanta.

Ghazala and her husband, Azhar, moved as newlyweds to the Richmond area in 1991, and she spent nearly 30 years as a professor, first teaching at the University of Richmond and then at Reynolds Community College. While at Reynolds, she also served as the Founding Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL).

The couple has two adult daughters who both graduated from Chesterfield County Public Schools and the University of Virginia.



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