This Tuesday, Danica Roem defeated Virginia State Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) in the Virginia House of Delegates race. Roem, who is a former journalist, is now the first ever openly transgender person to win a seat in a state legislature anywhere in the country.
The race between the two focused mainly on local issues in Prince William County but also raised issues about gender identity. Marshall is an outspoken social conservative who earlier this year introduced a “bathroom bill” that ultimately did not succeed.
In an NPR interview in September, Marshall said Roem was going against God’s “nature.”
“Danica clearly is out here doing this for making a marker in the national character that you can engage in this behavior — which clearly goes against the laws of nature and nature’s God — and hold public office to make decisions on behalf of the common good,” Marshall said. “That is what is kind of at stake here.”
From The Washington Post:
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 The Washington Post points out, the race turned ugly when Marshall and his supporters started running ads focusing on her transgenderism and referring to Roem, who is a Democrat, with male pronouns.
Danica Roem didn't only win – she beat a vehemently anti-trans incumbent who called her "a guy who thinks he's a girl who wears a dress."
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 8, 2017
“It’s kind of like Barack winning the presidential election. I’m really proud of Virginia,” Roem voter John Coughlin, 63, said according to WaPo. “I don’t care about religious issues. I don’t care about items that are big on his agenda. He should be more mainstream.
During the campaign, Roem slammed Marshall as being a “mirror” of President Trump and more concerned with implementing his conservative agenda than addressing local issues.
“When Delegate Marshall realized that he cannot win on public policy issues, on traffic, jobs, schools and health care, he resorted to trash,” Roem said at one point during the campaign.
Featured image via Ted Eytan (Flickr)