A 33-year-old #transgender Democrat won a seat in the #Virginia House of Delegates crushing the incumbent Bob Marshall who held the seat since 1992. Danica Roem has created history by becoming the first person that is openly transgender to be a member of the house of delegates.

A crusade against LGBTQ

The incumbent Bob Marshall was well known for his anti LGBTQ crusades in Virginia. He once tabled a measure to ban openly gay persons from service in the Virginia National Guard following a congressional repeal of a federal ban on gays in the military. Marshall was the main sponsor of a constitutional amendment in Virginia that successfully placed a ban on same-sex marriage.

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Other attacks on the community came in the form of a bill to legalise anti-LGBTQ segregation in places like restaurants and schools. As late as 2016, he tried to institute a ban on transgender children using school bathrooms that confirmed to their gender identity.

Republican voters sided with Roem

He called himself the state's chief homophobe while his transgender opponent embraced her identity in the face of vicious attacks during the campaign. A journalist, Roem, ran for her adversary's seat and won. With a lot of support from the LGBTQ community and riding a wave of Democratic resurgence in these elections, she easily trounced the incumbent Republican. According to reports analysing the election results, she got the support of a significant number of Republican voters in a traditionally right-wing district.

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Journalist turned politician

A former journalist and lead reporter with the Gainsville Times and the Prince William Times, Danica Roem made history by defeating the Republican who introduced the bathroom bill that would have banned transgender persons from using certain facilities. The seven-time award-winning journalist became a candidate in January 2017 for a seat in the state legislature. Her platform was based on everyday issues affecting voters in the district and included transportation and economic issues. Roem transitioned in 2012 and made it public in 2013. She has a stepchild in public school and is also the member of Car Ride Home, a metal band.

Diversity speaks

US politics received a healthy dose of diversity in the Tuesday night elections. Roem's success in Virginia was repeated in other major cities with wins by diverse candidates including city council and mayoral races. Democrats had surprising wins in key states but the most anticipated were the Governor's race in Virginia where Ralph Northam had a decisive win over Republican Ed Gillespie.