Danica Roem has made history for a second time, by becoming the first out transgender person to win reelection to a state legislature. Roem, fighting anti-LGBTQ candidate Kelly McGinn in Virginia, emerged triumphant on Tuesday night, winning 56 per cent of the vote.
Roem’s victory means she will continue to represent the 13th District in the Virginia House of Delegates—encompassing Manassas, Manassas Park, Gainesville, and Haymarket—where she made history in 2017 by becoming the first ever out transgender state legislator, with her focus on healthcare and local issues, including transport.
As The Daily Beast revealed exclusively in August, McGinn—whose anti-LGBTQ record included finding marriage equality “morally repugnant”—benefited from the support and donations of anti-LGBTQ conservative groups and their members in her campaign. Records from Virginia’s Department of Elections revealed that McGinn received $2,000 from Eagle Forum, a conservative organization founded by Phyllis Schlafly in 1972.
“Danica Roem has once again made history, becoming the longest-serving and first openly transgender elected official to be re-elected in our nation’s history,” Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said in a statement. “Throughout her tenure in the House of Delegates, Roem has remained focused on the needs of her constituents, despite hateful and divisive attacks from anti-LGBTQ groups and her opponents.”
“In 2017, Danica wrote the playbook on how transgender candidates can defeat anti-LGBTQ opponents through authenticity and attention to everyday issues—and her reelection victory sets it in stone,” Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, said in a statement.
Erin Uritus, CEO of Out & Equal, said in another statement: “Two years ago, Danica Roem broke an important barrier when she became the first openly transgender person elected to the Virginia statehouse. Today, she made history again as the first to be re-elected! This historic victory is a meaningful affirmation that transgender Americans belong in every aspect of public life -- at work, in our armed forces, and in elected office.”