First Transgender Democrat to Win Virginia House Seat

First Transgender Democrat to Win Virginia House Seat
First Transgender Democrat to Win Virginia House Seat

A surprising political twist out of Virginia this week — experienced journalist and Democrat Danica Roem has successfully unseated Republican Del. Bob Marshall to take his place in the state legislature. The change is especially surprising given the wide political berth between Roem and Marshall; the latter is one of the state’s most socially conservative representatives in recent history. Conversely, Roem takes a decidedly liberal and progressive approach to politics.

President and CEO of the Victory Fund Aisha Moodie-Mills released a statement shortly after the win was announced praising Roem for her win. “Tonight voters chose a smart, solutions-oriented trans leader over a divisive anti-LGBTQ demagogue – sending a powerful message to anti-trans legislators all across the nation.”

Key Facts

  • The change from socially conservative to democratic progressive isn’t the only surprising factor in Roem’s win. She is also the first transgender person to be elected to the House of Delegates in American history or the state legislature.
  • Although Roem spoke at length about her gender identity issues when prompted during her campaign, she did not utilize her status as an official campaign point. Instead, she focused on issues like jobs, traffic, education, and other localized pain points.
  • Roem also believes that the previous delegate, Robert Marshall, focused much too highly on social policy and not enough on important issues like finance and infrastructure.
  • Marshall, who campaigned to keep marriage between a man and a woman only, was called out repeatedly for misgendering Roem on the campaign trail. He also sponsored a failed constitutional amendment that attempted to ban transgender Americans from serving in the military.
  • Roem has stated that she believes her journalistic experience and honed ability to tap into the truth will aid her in fighting for all Virginians, regardless of gender, race, or socioeconomic background. “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.”

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