Last night was a great night for Democrats, but let’s take a moment to savor the victory of Danica Roem over Robert Marshall in Virginia. Roem is the first openly transgender person to win a seat in a U.S. statehouse, and she defeated an old-school SoCon dinosaur to make history. Via The Washington Post:
The race focused on traffic and other local issues in suburban Prince William County but also exposed the nation’s fault lines over gender identity. It pitted a 33-year-old former journalist who began her physical gender transition four years ago against a 13-term incumbent who called himself Virginia’s “chief homophobe” and earlier this year introduced a “bathroom bill” that died in committee.
“Discrimination is a disqualifier,” a jubilant Roem said Tuesday night as her margin of victory became clear. “This is about the people of the 13th District disregarding fear tactics, disregarding phobias . . . where we celebrate you because of who you are, not despite it.”
Marshall ran a nasty campaign. He refused to debate Roem. He consistently referred to her by the wrong pronouns. He ran slimy ads insinuating that Roem was blowing random men in a public restroom. The state GOP distributed flyers accusing Roem of “wanting transgenderism taught to kindergartners.”
But Marshall lost. And every pol — especially the graceless clod who is currently embarrassing this country abroad — could learn something about how to handle victory with class from Roem’s remarks when asked about Marshall:
“I don’t attack my constituents. Bob is my constituent now.”
Congratulations, Delegate Roem. And as Katie Hamm at CAP pointed out, Roem was part of a wave of diverse women who won Virginia statehouse victories last night. She’ll be joined in the House of Delegates by Jennifer Carroll Foy, Kathy Tran, Kelly Fowler, Karrie Delaney, Elizabeth Guzman, Hala Ayala and Wendy Gooditis. [ETA: Also Cheryl Turpin, who won a red district by 394 votes, according to valued commenter Taiko.]
Well done, Virginia.
I’ll be honest with you; I’ve been feeling discouraged lately. Even though most Americans don’t support Trump, his election and the antics of his enablers in Congress have done so much to reinforce the already appallingly prevalent belief that nothing we do makes a difference.
Well, people working their asses off in Virginia made a difference. Voters in Maine bypassed their odious toad of a governor to expand access to healthcare. Folks in New Jersey sent Chris Christie’s would-be GOP successor packing.
Now it’s up to us to replicate those victories in every state and on a national scale. Can we do it? We just saw Danica slay the dragon in Virginia. Yes we can!