The Agenda

At debate, Danica Roem explains why she will defeat Virginia’s ‘Chief Homophobe’

During her primary debate last Friday, Danica Roem, the first transgender Virginia House of Delegates candidate, highlighted her experience, qualifications and passion in explaining why she’s the best-positioned Democrat to take down noted anti-equality Delegate Bob Marshall.

The Democratic 13th District candidates largely focused during the debate on Marshall, who is known as Virginia’s “Chief Homophobe” for years of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and proposed legislation, including Virginia’s own failed “bathroom bill” to restrict which public restrooms trans students and citizens can use.

“As a transgender woman who’s been his constituent for 25 years, I’ve had enough of the fact that he cares more about where I use the restroom than how you get to work,” Roem said at the debate.

Danica spent most of her time talking about quality of life issues in the district where she’s lived her entire life, including transportation, education and LGBTQ rights. She highlighted her experience covering the district’s issues as a journalist and the historic nature of her candidacy. If elected, Roem will be the first openly transgender state legislator to serve in the U.S.

At the debate, Danica gave an impassioned explanation of why she’s running for the Virginia House of Delegates: “When you have a Republican-controlled legislature, folks, in Virginia, my rights are on the line every single day that the General Assembly is in session. This one is personal.”

But she also emphasized her ability to reach across the aisle and take advantage of her connections to area Republican officials to ensure she can be an effective delegate for the 13th District.

“I get along better with Del. Marshall’s party than he does,” Roem said. “You want proof? His own party killed 27 of his 30 bills this year. This is someone who has 25 years of seniority. I think I can do better than pass one House bill and one resolution in my first year, and that’s what he has to show for it in year 25.”

Danica’s primary election is June 13.

State Legislature, Virginia