Virginia voters elected the first openly transgender candidate into the Virginia House of Delegates on election day Tuesday.


Danica Roem, 33, unseated the incumbent, Republican Bob Marshall, 73, who had been elected 13 times in twice as many years. Once she takes office, Roem will be the first openly transgender candidate to be elected and to serve in a state legislature.

After the vote, Roem had more than 54% of the votes to Marshall’s 45%, with 19 of the 20 precincts reporting their results. In addition, Roem outraised Marshall in funds 3 to 1. “Tonight, voters chose a smart, solutions-oriented trans leader over a divisive anti-LGBTQ demagogue – sending a powerful message to anti-trans legislators all across the nation,” said Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, president and CEO of Victory Fund.

Roem previously said that her gender identity is a strength, and she was proven right with her historic win. “The message that I can succeed because of my gender, not despite it, because of who I am without being afraid of who I am is a human message,” Roem told Cosmopolitan.

Marshall, on the other hand, refused to debate with Roem, and would only refer to her using male pronouns. The GOP member was also the man who introduced Virginia’s version of the so-called “bathroom bill.” In 2015, Marshall proposed a bill that would legalize anti-LGBTQ segregation in hotels, restaurants, hospitals, schools, and more. Once, he even referred to himself as the Virginia’s “chief homophobe.” It was this comment that Roem says motivated her to challenge him for the House seat.

While Marshall tried to label Roem as a bathroom predator, Roem kept her messages very positive, particularly in her ad called “Inspire.” See it below.

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