Washington, DC Virginia House of Delegates candidate Danica Roem will become the first out transgender person to win and serve in a state legislature and the only out trans state legislator in the entire United States. Her historic victory at the polls Tuesday night is imbued with symbolism, as she defeated 25-year incumbent "Bigot Bob" Marshall, one of the most anti-LGBTQ state legislators in the nation and the author of the anti-trans bathroom bill. Victory Fund invested heavily in her race raising more than $200 thousand for her campaign, running get out the vote efforts during her primary and on election day, and helping raise her profile to a national audience.
Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, President & CEO of Victory Fund, released the following statement when her victory was announced:
"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. Danica defeated 'Bigot Bob' Marshall not because she is transgender, but because she presented a positive vision for her constituents that will improve their lives. We are determined to replicate this race nationwide using constituent-focused LGBTQ candidates to takedown elected officials who use their positions to target our community. Tonight was the opening salvo.
"Danica's victory is a historic milestone in our continued march toward equality becoming the first out trans person to ever win and serve in a state legislature. Her campaign was hard-fought she shared her personal story with her constituents and braved constant, dehumanizing anti-trans attacks from her opponent but that is the burden trailblazers often face. Danica has inspired trans leaders across the country, and it is inevitable more will follow in her footsteps and become powerful voices for our community.
"2017 will be remembered as the year of the trans candidate and Danica's heroic run for office the centerpiece of that national movement. Victory Fund was among Danica's first endorsements because of her ambitious but realistic campaign plan and her dedication to knocking on doors and talking about the issues that matter. We believed in her bundling more than $200,000 on her behalf, sending dozens of staff and volunteers to get out the vote for her in the primary and general election, and helping her secure the national media platform necessary to raise additional contributions. Trans elected leaders like Danica are the antidote to the anti-trans efforts we see across the nation, so Victory Fund will continue working tirelessly to elect more of them."
From HRC and Equality Virginia
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Equality Virginia, the statewide organization working for LGBTQ equality, hailed Danica Roem's historic victory in the Virginia District 13 election. Unseating anti-LGBTQ Delegate Bob Marshall, Roem's electoral victory will make her Virginia's first out transgender public official and the nation's only out transgender state representative.
"Danica Roem's historic victory is a clear warning to anti-equality lawmakers across the country that the days of attacking LGBTQ people to scare up votes are over," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "HRC was proud to mobilize voters to support Danica Roem's trailblazing candidacy, and we look forward to working with her to help continue moving equality forward in Virginia."
"Danica's victory tonight is not only a victory for transgender Virginians, but for transgender Americans as well," said Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parish. "Our great Commonwealth has had many significant electoral firsts, and it's no surprise the diverse and welcoming citizens of Prince William County have chosen to elect the first transgender candidate to any state's legislative body. Roem ran a smart, issues-driven campaign focused on improving the lives of her neighbors; a campaign that ran counter to her opponent's divisive and transphobic rhetoric. I, along with Equality Virginia's staff and board, send our heartfelt congratulations to Danica, and we look forward to working with her at the General Assembly to pass protections for gay and transgender Virginians."
Working hand-in-hand with Equality Virginia, HRC worked aggressively in the commonwealth to get out the vote for Danica Roem. HRC helped mobilize fair-minded Virginia voters through targeted social media, emails, text alerts, direct mail, phone calls, door-to-door canvassing, and other crucial efforts.
HRC's work in the commonwealth is part of a bold, proactive grassroots expansion called HRC Rising a campaign announced in July to accelerate progress in states from coast-to-coast, resist the politics of hate, fight anti-LGBTQ legislation, and fuel pro-equality candidates and initiatives. The expansion is the biggest strategic investment in the organization's 37-year history.
LPAC, the country's first and only lesbian political action committee, endorsed several victorious candidates in New Jersey and Virginia, all committed to advancing the causes of LGBTQ rights, women's equality and social justice as they take office at state and local levels.
"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.
LPAC endorsed candidates who won their election include:
Phil Murphy, for Governor of New Jersey: The former Ambassador to Germany, Murphy is committed to restoring New Jersey's place as a state that stands for progressive values and is a strong champion of women's and LGBTQ equality
Danica Roem, VA House of Delegates, District 13: A journalist and news reporter who was born and raised in Manassas, Roem is the first transgender elected official in Virginia.
Elizabeth Guzman, VA House of Delegates, District 31: A public administrator and a social worker, Guzman is an immigrant from Peru who came to the US as a single mother looking for a better future for her oldest daughter. Her top priorities include affordable healthcare, protecting equality for women and the LGBT community, and transportation issues.
Jennifer Carroll Foy, VA House of Delegates, District 2: Foy is a woman of color who graduated from the Virginia Military Institute. She enrolled in only the third class of female cadets to attend the historically all-male college.
Kelly Fowler, VA House of Delegates, District 21: Fowler is running against an anti-choice opponent with a long history of also opposing LGBTQ and immigration rights. Her top priorities include increased funding for public schools, sensible gun policy, and strong protections against anti-LGBTQ discrimination in schools and by employers.
Dr. Dawn Adams, VA House of Delegates, District 68: Dr. Adams is a nurse practitioner and has a doctorate degree in nursing. She has worked with the Virginia General Assembly as an advocate and advisor on healthcare. She is openly gay and lives with her partner of 15 years.
Donte Tanner, VA House of Delegates, District 40: Tanner is an Air Force veteran and small business owner. Tanner's top priorities are increasing access to healthcare, protecting a woman's right to choose and make her own healthcare choices, and ending gerrymandering.