(Richmond, Va.) (AP) — A former journalist has unseated one of Virginia’s most socially conservative lawmakers to become the first openly transgender member of the House of Delegates.
Democrat Danica Roem, an experienced newspaper reporter, beat Republican incumbent Bob Marshall in Tuesday’s election. The race was one of this year’s most high profile, drawing national and international attention to the northern Virginia district near the nation’s capital.
Marshall has served in the House since 1992 and has been a lightning rod for controversy, often drawing the ire of even his own party.
Roem is set to make history as the first openly transgender person elected and seated in a state legislature. But her gender identity wasn’t a key part of her campaign. Instead, she focused on jobs, schools and northern Virginia’s traffic congestion.