Virginia gets its first trans elected official, Danica Roem, filling a seat that will be vacated by Republican Robert G. Marshall at the Virginia House of Delegates.
The race was fueled by local issues such as traffic in Prince William County, but also exposed trans issues, an LGBT hot-button issue often pressed by the Trump administration.
Marshall referred to himself as the “Chief Homophobe” and introduced a bathroom bill which failed in the committee.
The Washington Post reports that Danica Roem, a former journalist, surpassed her opponent in campaign fundraising by 3-to-1, she brought in $500,000.
Marshall has been in the seat since 1991 and during the contest refused to debate with Roem and declined to be interviewed several times.
He also played hardball by running ads focusing on Roem being transgender and called her the wrong pronoun throughout.
But that kind of dirty politics didn’t pay off and Roem had a 10-percent lead over her opponent on Tuesday evening with 90-percent of the precincts reporting.
"Thank you all for your support over the years and this last election. For 26 years I've been proud to fight for you, and fight for our future. Though we all wish tonight would have turned out differently, I am deeply grateful for your support and effort over the years.
I'm committed to continue the fight for you, but in a different role going forward.
Thank you for your support, and God bless.
Delegate Bob Marshall"
The Lesbian Political Action Committee (LPAC), said in a statement they are optimistic about Roem's win and others who they endorsed in this election.
“LPAC is thrilled that several candidates we endorsed, including Phil Murphy, Danica Roem, Jennifer Carroll Foy, Kelly Fowler and Elizabeth Guzman, will now be in leadership positions in New Jersey and Virginia. More than ever, with the current political climate and challenges to the rights of the LGBTQ community, women and other marginalized groups, we need progressive and fair-minded politicians fighting for us,” said LPAC Political Strategy Chair Ana Cruz. "These candidates will be our advocates and champions when we need them most, especially as we approach another critical election cycle in 2018,” concluded Cruz.