Virginia House of Delegates candidate Danica Roem (D) has defeated longtime Del. Robert Marshall (R), becoming Virginia’s first openly transgender elected official, according to The Washington Post.
Roem’s win in Virginia’s 13th District also means she is poised to become the first openly transgender person to be elected and seated in a state legislature, advocates say.
Her win comes alongside Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) victory in the governor’s race Tuesday, the first major victory for Democrats since President Trump took office earlier this year.
Roem, 33, was up over Marshall, 73, by more than 10 points with roughly 90 percent of votes counted in preliminary estimates. Hillary Clinton won the district by 14 points, 54 to 40 percent, over President Trump last year.
Before venturing into politics, Roem was a reporter for the Gainesville Times and the Prince William Times. She defeated Marshall, a social conservative who has been in office since 1992.
“Danica will bring a reporter’s eye to Richmond, and we eagerly anticipate her results-oriented approach to deliver for her constituents in the 13th,” Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chairwoman Charniele Herring said in a statement.
“As a journalist, Danica Roem has covered the issues critical to Virginians and listened to a wide range of perspectives. During her campaign, Danica expanded this approach by listening to area residents’ concerns and making them integral to her own policy platform,” they added.
LGBTQ advocates hailed Roem’s victory on Tuesday evening, with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) calling it “a clear warning to anti-equality lawmakers across the country.”