Virginia's lieutenant governor-elect, Republican Winsome Sears, laid down a challenge to MSNBC's Joy Reid Wednesday night, daring the progressive news anchor to invite her on her show to have a "real discussion" about race and politics in America.
Reid had claimed during MSNBC's election night coverage that "white nationalism" played a major part in Republicans' sweep of three statewide offices. But those comments didn't sit well with Sears, who on Tuesday became the first black female lieutenant governor in Virginia's history.
"You have to be willing to vocalize that these Republicans are dangerous. This is not a party that is just another political party that disagrees with us on tax policy. At this point, they are dangerous to our national security," Reid said Tuesday night, arguing that Republicans were "stoking" white nationalism.
Speaking with Fox News's Martha MacCallum on Wednesday, Sears responded by daring Reid to raise that argument with her face-to-face.
"I wish Joy Reid would invite me on her show. Let's see if she is woman enough to do that. I would go in a heartbeat, and we will have a real discussion without Joy speaking about me behind my back," Sears blasted. "She talks about white supremacy. Does she know that I ran against a white supremacist? Joy, come on. Get your facts straight and then come talk to me."
Sears doubled down on Twitter, calling Reid's comments "shameful."
Winsome Sears challenges Joy Reid to debate after 'dangerous' claim www.youtube.com
Sears, a Marine Corps veteran and naturalized U.S. citizen from Jamaica, delivered a rousing speech Tuesday night after defeating Democrat Hala Ayala, in which she referred to herself as "living proof" of the American dream.
She repeated that same sentiment on Wednesday while criticizing Democratic attempts to divide the country along racial lines.
"We are framing too many issues in terms of race. It continues to divide us. And unfortunately, politicians are using it as a tool because of the things that happened to us historically to advance, I think, their nefarious purposes," she told MacCaullum.
"If we stop looking at race and look at people. You see, I am destroying all of the narratives about race. Look at me! Look at me!" she continued. "I am a heartbeat away from the governorship, in case anything happens to the governor."
"How are you going to tell me I am a victim?" she asked. "And I didn't do anything special to get here, except stay in school and study. I took advantage of the opportunities available here in America."
Sears' victory came as part of a GOP sweep of three statewide offices in Virginia that sent shock waves across the country.
On Tuesday, Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the race for governor, and Republican Del. Jason Miyares defeated incumbent Democratic incumbent Mark Herring to become the state's next attorney general.