History was made in Virginia last night as Democrat Danica Roem was elected the nation’s first openly transgender person to a state legislature. She will represent the 13th House District in Northern Virginia.
After hearing about her victory, she received a congratulatory phone call from former Vice President Joe Biden.
Once the photo went viral online, even Joe Biden chimed in on Twitter, offering a word of encouragement for Virginia’s newest delegate.
You’re going to make us all proud, Danica. https://t.co/doouBh0qME
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 9, 2017
Roem’s victory makes her the first transgender representative out of 7,400 state legislature seats in the United States.
Her opponent, Republican Bob Marshall, ran a decidedly homophobic campaign. This was, of course, par for the course for a representative who was the principal sponsor of a bill similar to North Carolina’s anti-transgender HB2 law and for a man who even tried to ban gays from serving in the Virginia National Guard.
Roem’s election comes on the heels of another major victory in Virginia. In a race widely labeled a bellwether going into the 2018-midterm elections, Democrat Ralph Northam has soundly defeated Republican Ed Gillespie by a nearly 10 point margin to replace Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe in Virginia.
Since the 2016 election, Democrats have outperformed their 2016 general election results in 30 of 39 special elections, and have even outperformed their 2012 results in 27 of those races. Even in solidly red districts, such as those in Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Kansas, Democrats have overperformed Trump’s numbers by double digits.
Trump and his Republican cronies may have relied on campaigns fueled by hate, but Roem’s victory showed that Americans are squarely on the side of progress.