Danica Roem has won reelection to the Virginia House of Delegates, and she'll remain the longest-serving out transgender elected official in the U.S.
Roem, a Democrat, was elected Tuesday to a third term representing District 13, a swing district located in the northern part of the state. With all ballots except provisional ones counted, she had 54.3 percent of the vote, Inside Nova reports.
She defeated Christopher Stone, an anti-LGBTQ+ Republican and political newcomer. Stone had criticized the U.S. Supreme Court's 2015 marriage equality decision, calling it an example of "legislating from the bench." He opposes adoption rights for same-sex couples and has called for consideration of "both sides" in LGBTQ+ rights laws.
Roem was initially elected to the House of Delegates in 2017, becoming the first out transgender person to be elected to and seated in a state legislature. In 2019 she became the first out trans person reelected. In her first election, she defeated Del. Bob Marshall, a longtime legislator who was intensely anti-LGBTQ+. She beat an anti-LGBTQ+ challenger, Kelly McGinn, in her 2019 reelection race.
"Danica's voters again chose a qualified trans leader over an anti-LGBTQ opponent -- rejecting the so-called 'culture wars' that aim to divide, not improve people's lives," Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which has supported all of Roem's campaigns, said in a press release. "While Danica's energies are focused on her district, the impact of her leadership resonates across the country. Danica exemplifies the winning recipe for trans candidates: exemplary constituent services and a hyper-focus on the issues that matter. She has inspired dozens of trans people to run for office across the country and each victory is certain to inspire more."
With all seats in the House of Delegates up for election, Mark Sickles, a gay man, was reelected in District 43, also in northern Virginia, easily defeating Republican Brenton Hammond. Sickles has been a delegate for 18 years and came out in 2014. Like Roem, he's a Democrat.
Another Democrat from the LGBTQ+ community, lesbian Dawn Adams, is seeking reelection in District 68, centered on Richmond. She was first elected in 2017. Her race against Republican challenger Mark Earley Jr. remains too close to call.
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