Virginia Suburb Elects First Openly Transgender Candidate To State Office

Virginia Suburb Elects First Openly Transgender Candidate To State Office

On Tuesday, Virginia voters elected the first trans candidate to hold state office. Danica Roem beat Republican Bob Marshall, who has held office for more than 20 years in Virginia’s House of Delegates. Roem won in House District 13, home to Prince William County, one of the most politically left counties in America. It has also been ranked one of the top ten wealthiest counties in the country.

Before running for political office, Roem, a man who began approximating a woman in 2013, worked as a local journalist for The Gainesville Times and the Prince William Times, garnering several awards. Roem’s candidacy received multiple endorsements from well-known politicians like former Vice President Joe Biden, and was the focus of many fundraising efforts, particularly outside Virginia.

When Trump announced his policies for transgenders in the military, for example, Wisconsin politician Chris Abele, a major Democratic donor, donated $50,000 to Roem’s campaign on the spot. Most of Roem’s donations came from out-of-state donors like this, and the candidate out-raised Marshall 5 to 1.

Roem: America Has ‘Millions of Transgender People’

Roem’s candidacy was controversial because of his transgenderism. Marshall refused to call Roem by the pronoun “she.” Instead of shying away from that, Roem pounced on it in a campaign video. Although Roem never mentions Marshall in the ad, the then-candidate theorizes the speaker will announce Roem as “the gentlewoman from Manassas” and posits that there are “millions of transgender people in this country and we all deserve representation in government.”

Roem’s unofficial slogan was that the candidate’s transgender identity shouldn’t be political because it’s just “Who I Am.” Despite this, of course, it was a major talking point on the campaign trail. Clearly Roem’s “gender identity” was a selling point, both to donors and to the Democrat base in Virginia, which is quite leftist.

Prince William County, which is part of the House district Roem now represents, is very encouraging to transgenderism, particularly in the school systems. This year, the Prince William County school board extended sex-contrary policy preferences for LGBTQ students and staff. Gavin Grimm, the famous transgender student who sued her school because she couldn’t use bathrooms set aside for males, hails from Gloucester, also a county in Virginia. That legal case may well reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

Winning Based on Rejecting Reality

Roem’s win is of course a victory for Democrats, who successfully parlayed their party’s anger and moderates’ disappointment in President Trump into an upset, all across the state of Virginia. Democrats gained 14 seats in the Virginia House and Senate, producing a majority by a very thin slice.

The New York Times says “The state’s 100 House of Delegate races represent the purest test of grass-roots anger at the president, according to election analysts.” Yet it’s routine for midterm elections to result in similar political upsets.

This win is a boost to transgenderism in the public square. It will be interesting to see if Roem’s win produces more LGBTQ political candidates and affects how the state of Virginia handles LGBTQ issues. The state and nearby DC metro region have been deluged with high-profile tussles between parents and school boards over transgender-approved policies demanding that boys and girls shower, compete in sports, and take overnight trips together.

Nicole Russell is a senior contributor to The Federalist. She lives in northern Virginia with her four kids. Follow her on Twitter @russell_nm.
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