Former Vice President Joe Biden recently endorsed Danica Roem, a transgender Democratic candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates — and member of the heavy metal band Cab Ride Home — who is running against Republican delegate Bob Marshall, an anti-LGBTQ one of the sponsors of a transphobic bathroom bill. Biden’s endorsement makes her one of the few transgender political candidates ever to receive such a high profile endorsement.
Roem says that the race between her and Marshall is very tight but that she has still managed to out-fundraise him by tens of thousands of dollars with help from state Democrats and labor unions. If she wins, she would be the first trans person ever elected to state office.
She has called her opponent the most anti-LGBTQ legislator in the south. Marshall’s legislative efforts include bills declaring pornography as a public health hazard, another opposing Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide and a transphobic bathroom bill (all of which have failed). The anti-LGBTQ hate group, the Family Research Council, is one of his biggest campaign donors.
Here are two videos highlighting Danica Roem’s candidacy:
Roem has focused primarily on transportation, crowded schools and aging business strips, criticizing her opponent for ignoring these issues to focus on a needlessly radical social agenda.
Endorsing her candidacy, Biden said:
As someone who spent decades riding the train to work, I’m proud today to endorse Danica Roem’s historic candidacy, because I know her emphasis on improving transportation infrastructure is critical to improving the quality of life for thousands of Virginians. I know she’d make people of her lifelong home of Prince William County proud by working to improve their commutes and strengthen the middle class while serving them with compassion in Richmond and Manassas.
Biden has called transgender rights the “civil rights issue of our time.”
If elected, Roem would be the fifth transgender official ever elected to public office in the U.S. The first four are as follows: Representative Althea Garrison who was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1992 (and actually ran as a Republican); Victoria Kolakowski, a Superior Court Judge in Alameda County, California who got elected in 2010; Stu Rasmussen who became the mayor of Silverton, Oregon in November 2008; Jess Herbst who got elected as the mayor of New Hope, Texas in 2016 and came out in 2016.