PRINCE WILLIAM, Va. — Virginia Democrat Danica Roems defeated Bob Marshall Tuesday night, becoming the first openly transgender person to be elected and seated to a state legislature.
Marshall, who has represented the state in the House since 1992, has consistently been at odds with the LGBT community. In 2015, Marshall was very outspoken against Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s so called “gay agenda.” He introduced House Bill 1414, that would allow anyone who obtained a state license to morally or religiously object to serving someone who is gay or lesbian.
Roem’s victory still came as a surprise to many, though she won by nearly 10 percent. In the run-up to the election, Roem focused on issues such as jobs, traffic and local schools, opting not to make gender issues a cornerstone of her campaign.
“As a journalist, Danica Roem has covered the issues critical to Virginians and listened to a wide range of perspectives,” said Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charnielle Herring in a released statement. “During her campaign, Danica expanded this approach by listening to area residents’ concerns and making them integral to her own policy platform.”
To take control of the house, Democrats need to gain 17 seats. A record number of women entered the race this year, with all 100 seats up for grabs.