Not only did Danica Roem today become the first transgender elected official in the state of Virginia — and one of the only trans individuals to hold political office in the United States — but her victory was so much sweeter seeing as how she ousted the man who earlier this year introduced a bathroom bill in the state’s legislature.
Yes, Roem, running as a Democrat (and endorsed by Joe Biden), bested longtime Republican incumbent Robert G. Marshall during today’s election. She will be the new state legislator for Prince William County.
While the major issues during the two candidates’ campaigns were local ones — including things like traffic — it can’t be overlooked that they were also diametrically opposed on gender issues. Roem, a local journalist who began her transition four years ago, found herself face-to-face with a man who referred to himself as Virginia’s “chief homophobe” and is responsible for introducing the state’s “bathroom bill” months back.
Unfortunately for Marshall, that “bathroom bill” — modeled after North Carolina’s controversial legislation — was shot down by a Republican-led committee in January. (Marshall called their vote “disgusting.”)
Marshall also refused to publicly debate Danica Roem.
Roem outraised Marshall 3-to-1, with nearly $500,000 in donations, much of it coming from LGBT advocates and other supporters across the country. She and her supporters executed an aggressive ground game, knocking on doors more than 75,000 times in a district with 52,471 registered voters, sitting for endless public appearances and interviews, and maintaining a steady social media presence.
As of this story’s publication, Danica Roem is over Marshall by more than 10 points, with 90% of votes counted.
It was a great day for Dems in Virginia, as the state’s Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam also won the race for governor. Many are considering it the first major victory for Democrats since Trump became president last November.