(RepublicanJournal.org) – Virginia Democrat Danica Roem beat out Republican William Carroll Woolf in the race for their district’s seat in the State Senate, marking the first time an openly transgender person in the South has earned a spot in the upper chamber. The win came with fewer than 2,000 votes between the two nominees following the November 7 general election.
Roem began their political career by winning District 13 in the Virginia House of Delegates in 2018, a term ending in January 2024. They had beat out Bob Marshall, an incumbent with 13 terms under his belt who self-described as a “chief homophobe.” Before that, Roem worked as a news writer, editor, and general director. The Virginia lawmaker graduated in 2006 from St. Bonaventure University, where they earned a degree in journalism. As a delegate, they worked to fix dangerous roadway issues and helped to create laws that protect gay and transgender individuals from discrimination and “panic” responses.
The LGBTQ+ Victory Fund was key to Roem’s victory, pouring more than $406,000 into the queer delegate’s campaign. The organization backed dozens of candidates in this most recent election in its effort to normalize the LGBTQ+ community. Overall, Democrats reportedly shelled out millions of dollars over the last couple of years in the hopes of securing continued control over the Virginia Senate.
Issues most important to Roem, according to their website, include preventing child hunger in schools and tackling discrimination. They’re also dedicated to improving safety and efficiency in transportation, increasing medical care access, and returning transparency and accountability to the government.
Roem understands that some people might take issue with their being openly transgender, but they told The Hill that they’ve never tried to hide or deny who they are. The lawmaker points to the accomplishments they have already made at the local level, noting that their track record speaks for itself. In the coming months, the lawmaker hopes to continue improving transportation in their state, initiate a farm-to-school program to teach children how to grow and prepare their own healthy meals, and improve public access to the Freedom of Information Act.
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