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Democrat Danica Roem unseats GOP incumbent to become Virginia’s first openly transgender delegate

A transgender candidate defeated an incumbent Virginia lawmaker Tuesday who sponsored a bill that would have restricted which bathrooms she could use.

Democrat Danica Roem, a former journalist, is set to make history as the first openly transgender person elected and seated in a state legislature in the United States. She unseated Republican Del. Bob Marshall, one of the state's longest serving and most socially conservative lawmakers. The race was one of the year's most high-profile, drawing international attention and big money to the northern Virginia House of Delegates district outside the nation's capital.

"It's historic. ... It sends a message to politicians everywhere that the politics of bigotry is over," Democratic House Caucus Chair Charniele Herring said.

Roem will be the first transgender member of the House of Delegates and will become the first out transgender person to win and serve in a state legislature, according to the Victory Fund, a political action committee that works to get openly LGBTQ people elected and has supported Roem.

Roem, who couldn't immediately be reached for an interview Tuesday night, openly discussed her gender identity during her campaign, but it was far from her focus. Instead, she focused on jobs, schools and, with particular fervor, northern Virginia's traffic congestion.

She started pursuing therapy to begin her gender transition when she was 28, and said in an interview with the Associated Press during the campaign that politics should be inclusive of all.

"No matter what you look like, where you come from, how you worship or who you love, if you have good public policy ideas, if you're qualified for office, you have every right to bring your ideas to the table," she said.

She also argued that Marshall, who has served in the House since 1992, has spent too much time on social policy.

A lightning rod for controversy, Marshall often drew the ire of even his own party.

In addition to this year's bathroom bill, Marshall was also the author of a now-void constitutional amendment that defined marriage as between one man and one woman, and sponsored a bill banning gay people from openly serving in the Virginia National Guard.

On the campaign trail, Marshall and other Republicans repeatedly misidentified Roem's gender.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Marshall said: "For 26 years I've been proud to fight for you, and fight for our future. Though we all wish tonight would have turned out differently, I am deeply grateful for your support and effort over the years."

Roem, who sings in a metal band in her spare time, said she learned to listen to different perspectives and digest complicated policy as a reporter for the Gainesville Times and Prince William Times, skills she would bring to bear as a delegate.

"We are determined to replicate this race nationwide — using constituent-focused LGBTQ candidates to take down elected officials who use their positions to target our community. Tonight was the opening salvo," Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, president and chief executive of Victory Fund, said in a statement.

Comments


Now she is at the AMAs getting face time. That should help fix 28. Way to elect someone who wants to be famous vice someone who wants to do something.


Let’s see if Roem spends anytime whatsoever actually fixing transportation (or anything else).

Great fundraising gimmick by the Dems, though.


Culture rot


She has quite a promised task in front of her: Fixing 28?  How is she going to do that?


In 50 years, transgender mutilation (and especially the puberty blocking experimentation on children) will be seen as the moral and medical equivalent of frontal lobotomies.


Ya, Marshall probably was in office too long. That’s why we need term limits.


Term limits would be better than allowing these career corrupt politicians to stay in office and get rich off the hard working taxpayers. Very few accomplishments for 26 years in office….


It’s funny, the only people “shouting” about the LBGT issue are the people who seem bothered by it.

The more you fuss about something, the more people will normalize it.  Without people like SterlingLocal, many voters would probably not acknowledge the immediate and critical need to again assure rights for all Americans.


@SterlingLocal How’s that Trump logic working out for you? It’s called progress btw.


kudos. One less long-term swamper in the swamp. both sides should be happy, but wait..to the parties it’s all about party and not about what the people want. KUDOS Danica!


I guess people were shouting stick to the issues, stick to the issues, stick to the issues and fruit was not an issue that was important to them.


this is an apple, people may shout banana banana banana, but it’s still an apple. People may insist that it’s a banana, but it’s still just an apple. Facts Matter. Cnn.

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